May 5, 2017
“I may have a use for this someday.” We all have items we hold onto with this thought in mind. But in reality, the old stacks of National Geographic magazines, boxes of loose photographs, old tools, heirloom silver teapots and other memorabilia end up stashed in our garages, attics and closets without another thought given to them.
However, what happens when “someday” never happens, and those heaps of things are actually more of a burden than a benefit? For older adults who’ve accrued a lifetime of keepsakes, it can feel impossible to deal with the job of decluttering by choosing what to do with everything.
When trying to determine what to keep, repurpose, give away or throw away, some effective decluttering tips can help. For example, ask yourself this simple question for each item: “Does it spark joy?” This tactic, in accordance with the approach in Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” allows for radical decluttering as well as an opportunity to revisit the past and come to peace with it. Even though the process of decluttering can be emotional, at the end of the day, it can also feel very liberating.
A general change in perspective can make a big difference between the drudgery of downsizing and the comfort of ensuring an older adult’s home is well organized. A term has even been coined in order to replace the negative connotations of “downsizing”: “rightsizing”. It includes making a home best fit the next phase of one’s life, and celebrating those changes along the way. It places the focus on treasuring the things being kept, instead of on the loss of things that may, in point of fact, have basically been gathering dust.
Continuum, providing St. Louis home care, is available to help with additional decluttering tips, home organization tasks, and can coordinate larger scale work such as removal of pieces of furniture along with other large items. Our friendly companions are also on hand to share in reminiscing over beloved treasures, going through picture albums, and listening as the senior shares life stories, as well as hands-on help with the “rightsizing” project itself. Call our St. Louis home care staff at 314.863.9912 or contact us online for assistance.