Spring is a time to renew and refresh. Often times seniors’ homes are full of items waiting to be repurposed, recycled, donated or tossed out. Spring cleaning is a great time to begin this process. However, downsizing your home can be an overwhelming and emotional process.
We are here to offer a few simple steps you can take to make the process of downsizing and decluttering your home a bit easier.
Start the process early, before things are too difficult emotionally or physically. And start small. Even if it’s one room or one drawer at at time. Make a list of what needs to be done and set a deadline for each task to keep you on track.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 36 million seniors fall every year. Reduce your risk for avoidable accidents by knowing your limitations. Seniors who want to do a deep spring cleaning should sidestep tasks that require the use of things like ladders, stairs, heavy hauling or wet floors. Call in family or friends to help with those tasks. Use this handy guide for safety in the home.
If you feel fatigued, take a break or call it a day and return to the task again when you’re alert. Keep in mind how you react to specific prescriptions. If a medication causes dizziness or sleepiness, wait until the side effects subside to do chores.
Involve Your Family in the Process
When cleaning feels like a chore, we often don’t make time for it. So why not make the process of downsizing your home more fun? Invite family or friends to help.
Many people wait until it’s too late to see their loved ones receive heirloom items. By doing it now, you can share stories about the objects and the meaning behind them with your family. And consider taking before and after pictures to create a scrapbook or collage of your process. If you’re moving out of your home, this can be especially helpful in setting up your new living space.
Try the 3 Pile Rule
The keep As you go through all your belongings, try the 3 pile rule. Separate items into these 3 categories: Keep, Donate and/or Sell, and Trash. When downsizing, consider your goals. If it’s to move to a smaller place, think about how you can recreate what you want from each room, but only in one box. The “keep” box should include items that make you feel most at home. Try selling more valuable items you are ready to part with and for items that don’t sell, consult your favorite charitable organizations. Often they can arrange for someone to pick up your donations. As much as possible, try to keep things out of landfills. Use the trash pile as a last resort.
Consider a Retirement Community
If the responsibilities of owning and maintaining a home have become too difficult for you, it might be time to consider moving into a retirement community. At Thorek Retirement Home, residents of our community enjoy their senior years in different ways that support their individuality and independence. We do this through a robust activities program, as well as supportive services as they are needed. We would love to give you a tour of our community and answer any questions you might have. Schedule a tour with us today!