How to Declutter and Simplify Your Life: Expert Tips for Seniors
As seniors downsize to smaller living spaces, organizing becomes a critical skill. The practice of decluttering and simplifying your life is more than just tidying up your home. It’s about taking stock of how you’re spending your time, energy and resources so that you can focus on what matters most to you.
The benefits of decluttering
Decluttering can be an eye-opening experience that leads to greater peace of mind, improved focus and enhanced quality of life. So grab a box or two, set aside some time each day and start decluttering your home today! With dedication and discipline, you’ll soon see the benefits of having less stuff in your life—and more time for meaningful activities that bring joy!
- Clutter as a health and safety issue
According to the CDC, around 3 million older adults go to emergency rooms for injuries sustained through a fall. Seniors often have balance and reaction speed issues, making them susceptible to tripping hazards. Your home should have plenty of space to go from room to room without bumping into furniture, tripping over cords, or working around surplus items.
- Saving time through organization
A well-organized home saves time. People lose hours every year searching for lost items. Once you’ve identified what you want to keep and what can go, create a system for organizing your possessions and stick to it! This will help keep clutter at bay and make sure everything is easy to find when needed.
- Helping maintain focus
Adults lose some of their ability to focus as they age. A disorganized home does not help this issue. While working on one project, you find yourself distracted by a random object in the corner. You walk into a room, and an item grabs your attention, making you forget why you originally entered. Simplifying your space can help minimize these awkward moments.
Where to start?
Safety must be the priority when it comes to home organization. As you look at your living space, you also need to consider any physical restrictions you may have. Is there a wide enough pathway to move safely from room to room? If you depend on holding onto furniture as you navigate, are there any objects in the way?
You also want to give attention to any piles of items that could fall over unexpectedly. A stack of magazines might shift and spill, creating an unexpected tripping hazard. By addressing these issues first, you will have a home that is clean and safe.
- Giving away items to friends and family
People tend to accumulate items over the years. They store objects with sentimental value to pass on to loved ones after they are gone. However, it can be more meaningful to share these gifts with the people you care about in the present. It allows you to explain the history of the item, why it has meaning, and why you think you should share it. These unexpected gifts are an excellent opportunity for connection.
Seniors often have bookshelves filled with stories they have enjoyed but will probably not read again. If you have appreciated a book, give it to someone who shares your interests and love of reading. Once they finish, you can compare notes, creating another way to connect with them.
- Donating usable items
Many charitable organizations sponsor thrift stores with slightly-used items. If you have belongings that have been sitting unused for years, they can make a big difference to people in need. Some groups will even come to your location and pick up your items. You can tidy up your home knowing that your old belongings are helping other people.
- Utilizing online bills and statements
Bank statements, bills, and receipts accumulate quickly, taking up space on counters and desks. When they start piling up, it feels impossible to organize them. Confusion about paid and unpaid bills can also lead to unintentionally late payments.
Many businesses have the option of paperless bills and statements. An online statement gives you the information you need without extra envelopes and sheets of paper spreading around your desk. You can also pay your bills online, saving you the cost of a stamp and the time of writing a check. You may want to employ the help of someone familiar with computers to organize your online system so that all your statements are easily accessible.
- Finding designated spaces for daily items
The items people lose the most time searching for are often the ones they use every day. As part of your decluttering effort, you might want to designate specific spaces for the things you use frequently. At the end of the day, you can check to see that everything is in its place and never have to search for your reading glasses, pen, or car keys again.
Simplifying your living space through decluttering will help remove some unnecessary stress from your life. You can relax knowing that your home is safer and better organized to support your daily routine.
Independence comes in many forms, and independent living at The Moorings at Lewes honors them all. Contact us to find out more about our Life Plan Community in Lewes, DE.