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Decluttering with Seniors at Any Time of Year

September 01, 2015, 00:28 AM


“Spring cleaning” can be stressful and overwhelming for anyone on both the emotional and physical levels.   Just the words “Spring cleaning” are enough to arouse negative feelings in some unfortunate individuals who have gone about their project in the wrong ways in the past.  Be appreciative for your youth though!  Seniors in particular may struggle with this periodic challenge and appreciate support from friends and family no matter what time of year they choose to take on this challenge. Whether you have some extra time now that the kids are back in school, you decide to do something in honor of the New Year, or you go the more traditional route and wait until the real spring cleaning craze, a few strategies can help create a positive experience for everyone.  Here are a few tips for helping the seniors in your life de-clutter.

Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by Liz Lawley via flickr

Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by Liz Lawley via flickr

Give things away

Sometimes the hardest part of getting rid of things is wondering if they could still be put to good use. Especially for seniors who lived through The Great Depression or other hard times, parting with items in working condition – regardless of how superfluous they might be to them at this point – is difficult. Giving things away rather than throwing them out can not only ease this difficulty, but turn the whole experience into a positive, uplifting one. Items with sentimental value can be gifted to children and grandchildren, while other items can be donated to the Salvation Army or similar nonprofit organizations that will put your belongings to good use. For an added bonus, make sure to look into whether such donations may earn you a tax credit at the end of the year as well!

Digitize

De-cluttering doesn’t always mean getting rid of things. Photographs and documents can be scanned and digitized, either at home or outsourced to professionals, and preserved while still clearing space in your home. This is also an opportunity to take another look at the documents you’ve been saving – you may be surprised at what you stumble across! Enjoy the stroll down memory lane as you scan and sort photos. Forget the stress of deciding what to keep, since you can keep everything on discs. Make extra copies for back up if you’re concerned, enjoy the security of keeping it all, and especially enjoy all the space you’ve opened up by de-cluttering physical copies in favor of digital ones.

Make a schedule

Whether you’re giving things away or digitizing papers, there is no reason to do it all in one go. Make a schedule of rooms in the house, projects, or however else you’d like to break it up and address a finite, manageable piece each hour or each day. There’s no rush to get through it all (unless of course you’re throwing a party), and knowing you only have a bite-sized task ahead of you will make getting started and following through to the finish that much easier.

Get help

There is no reason to do your spring cleaning alone. Call in friends or family to help, or to simply keep you company. You also may want to consider contacting Abcor about how their homecare aides can help. Abcor professionals can be retained on an hourly basis for exactly this kind of support, including minimizing the physical strain the client endures from moving boxes and the like, as well as providing sensitive, patient, moral support as you go through clutter together.

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