Often, elderly people find it more difficult to downsize, as it can often involve letting go of treasured possessions. These treasured possessions can hold memories that are collected through a lifetime, so getting rid of them can be hard.
However, instead of thinking of it as ‘letting go’ of these possessions, you should think of it as making space for something else. By getting rid of these possessions, you’re allowing space for yourself to make new memories.
Decluttering is the key to staying in your current home. As you get older, you’ll find that certain areas of the home become a bit harder to reach – such as higher shelves or the backs of cupboards – so decluttering is important to make sure that the things you need to access are easily available.
You may also find that as you get older you need more room to maneuver around the house. In this case, decluttering can really help. Removing clutter can also help to reduce the risk of trips and falls in the home.
But how do you approach such a mammoth task? We’ve got some tips for you here.
Stick to piles
When you’re decluttering, try to stick to piles. You should have three piles; keep, toss and give away. You should organize everything into these piles. Sticking to this method helps you realise just how much you are keeping, but also how much is actually being removed.
Setting limits is a good idea when decluttering, as this helps you put caps on how many things you can have in the house. For example, although you may have several sets of chinaware, you’ll only rarely use most of them.
By setting a limit on how many pieces of chinaware you actually need, you can ensure that you aren’t hoarding unused items in the house.
Slow and steady wins the race
Once you’ve started, remember that Rome wasn’t decluttered in a day. Try and limit yourself to two-hour windows of decluttering.
Typically, two hours will be enough in one day for most seniors. Making the sessions shorter is much easier for both parties. Try and remember that decluttering can be both emotionally and physically draining on all involved.
Phrase your questions
When asking yourself or your parents about what needs to stay and what needs to go, phrase your questions in a specific way. Instead of asking “are you sure you want to keep all of these?”, instead try “you only need one of these, which one is it going to be?”
The key here is to remind yourself or your parent that you are in the process of trying to downsize.
When decluttering, it can be tempting to try and approach one room per person. However, this can be detrimental. If your parent or loved one is not involved in the decluttering process, they may become resistant to it.
Instead, work together on one room at a time. If you or your loved one becomes too exhausted, choose a comfortable spot nearby – but still in the same room – so that you can easily converse as you are sorting. This helps everyone to have an input on the decluttering process, as well as keep morale high.
If you keep all these tips in mind, it can really reduce the emotional toll that decluttering can have. Have we missed any key tips for decluttering your home?