After a lifetime of experiences and memories, your collections of sentimental items will accumulate. Soon, your living space, shelves, and boxes are stuffed with newspaper clippings, photographs, gifts from family members, tax returns, letters, and greeting cards. When that happens, it’s time to declutter.
Why Should Seniors Regularly Declutter?
While it’s always difficult to purge, decluttering is especially important for seniors. Some reasons for seniors to declutter include:
- Efficiency: With time it can become more and more difficult to find items you need. Decluttering cuts down on searching and saves you time.
- Safety: Clutter is a tripping hazard. Decluttering enables you to move about your home with peace of mind.
- Focus: Because messy environments affect cognitive thinking, it’s important to have a clean space where you can process information.
Tips for Seniors Decluttering
- Go Slow: Don’t try to tackle everything at once. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Instead, carve out two to three hours per day. See what gets done, and then take a break. Doing so will keep you from getting stuck, and allow you to begin the next day with a positive outlook.
- Bring in an Objective Party: Going through all your old belongings is a challenge. Going through all your old belongings objectively is practically impossible. In that case, we recommend bringing in an objective third party to make the decisions easier. This could be a professional organizer, downsizing service, or housekeeper. These people will help you navigate the emotional terrain effectively.
- Ask Your Family to Help: Tell your loved ones you’re decluttering! This will give them the opportunity to rescue items of remembrance or personal value from your donation or junk pile. Also, you might need help moving some of the heavier objects...
What’s the Next Step?
When you’re decluttering, set up a space, bag, or box for the items you’re getting rid of. At the end of each day, go through those items and organize them into three sections:
- Sell: If there are items you want to sell, contact your local consignment store. Craigslist and ebay are also great ways to sell your stuff online.
- Donate: Less valuable objects make great donations. Call your local charities to find out what items they need. Some of them will even come pick those items up themselves, saving you a trip!
- Junk: At the end of the day, throw out everything in your junk pile. Don’t give yourself a chance to rethink it. It’s worthwhile to hire a professional junk removal service for larger items, such as furniture and old appliance.