Inside: Use these tips for decluttering for seniors to help make the process a little easier!
Are you a senior who’s trying to declutter your home?
Maybe you’re decluttering for retirement. Or maybe you’re goal is to declutter and downsize.
Either way, one thing’s for sure – decluttering for seniors isn’t always easy.
If you’re feeling sad, nervous, or overwhelmed by the idea of decluttering your home, don’t worry! While the idea might be a little intimidating, many of us can benefit from decluttering our homes, and you might be surprised to see just how beneficial it can be.
If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and declutter your home, I’m here to help you make it happen.
Downsizing Can Be Difficult – Give Yourself Grace
Before we begin, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that decluttering for seniors can be challenging.
Sometimes, it can be really hard to say goodbye to the physical things we own. After all, most of that stuff holds some kind of meaning.
There might be gifts you were given by friends and family members. There might be stuff you really worked hard and saved up to purchase, investments that you were proud to make at the time.
Some of our physical belongings hold sentimental memories, taking us back to critical moments in our lives – weddings, birthdays, new jobs, big moves.
It’s easy to see how it can be difficult to get rid of those things. It might cause more emotions than you expect.
My best advice? Be easy on yourself as you declutter your house.
Take the time you need to say goodbye to the stuff you’ve been holding onto for years – but keep your goal of decluttering your home in mind and stay focused on the task at hand.
Downsizing and Decluttering for Seniors: Seven Tips to Make It Easier
Step One: Create Your Goals and Remember Why You’re Decluttering
Setting a clear, achievable goal for yourself is a great way to stay focused and motivated while you’re decluttering. After all, it can be tough work.
You might get to a point where you’re ready to throw in the towel and settle on keeping all of your stuff to deal with some other day.
But by setting a clear goal for what you’re hoping to achieve and keeping the reason why you’re decluttering in mind, you’ll have a much easier time staying on track and making progress toward decluttering your home.
Step Two: Tackle Small Areas At a Time to Avoid Overwhelm
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when decluttering for seniors is to try to tackle everything at once. Not only is that simply not possible, but you’ll find yourself in an even more chaotic place than where you first started.
Instead, try to focus on a small, specific area of your home first. Maybe it’s a certain room. It could even be as small as a closet, a cabinet, or a particular shelf.
Whatever your target, focus on it narrowly, and complete that area completely before moving on to the next one.
Step Three: Go At Whatever Pace Works for You
Decluttering isn’t a race. It’s a marathon. You’ve got a lot to get through – no need to rush.
If you try to move too quickly while you declutter, you’re going to get tired quickly, and you might even give up.
Unless you’re trying to declutter and downsize before a specific date, you should feel free to take your time.
Whether you can spend one hour a day decluttering, or need to dedicate your full attention on weekends to the task, it’s important to go at your own pace.
Step Four: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help!
Decluttering your home can definitely be a challenge. As a senior, it can be even tougher.
If you need help, especially when it comes to physical tasks like moving large objects or furniture, don’t hesitate to call for help. Bring in a friend, a family member, or someone else who can handle the heavy lifting.
You don’t just have to call in help when things get heavy, though. If you’ve got a friend willing to help you declutter, take advantage of the company!
Having someone help you declutter can help the time pass more quickly – and make it a lot more fun.
Step Five: Know It’s OK to Keep Some Things
Like I’ve said before, you don’t have to get rid of everything when you declutter. There are going to be some things that you want to keep because they’re expensive, sentimental, or otherwise special. And that’s totally OK!
However, when it comes to keeping nostalgic items, you can quickly find yourself on a slippery slope. Once you start walking down memory lane, it can be tough to part with anything that’s part of your history.
The easiest solution? Set a limit upfront for the number of nostalgic things you’re willing to keep.
It could be a specific number, or enough stuff to fit in a particular bin, closet, or shelf. As long as you establish a limit and stick to that, you should be in the clear.
Focusing on the items most important to you and thinking about what you want to keep can make downsizing easier.
Step Six: Don’t Hold Onto Stuff for Others
As you declutter your home, you might find things you think your kids might want to keep. This is another way to quickly derail your decluttering plans.
You can easily find yourself with a pile of stuff set aside that you think your kids might like – and justify keeping all of that stuff around for that reason.
Instead, work with your kids as you declutter to determine what they want and what they don’t. Let them know when you’re decluttering and see if they’d like to come by to help.
Alternately, you can set aside the stuff you think they’ll like for a specific time and let them know they are welcome to stop by and grab whatever they want to keep.
Creating a decluttering deadline will let them know they only have a set amount of time to come get it before it gets donated. At the end of that time frame, it’s time to say goodbye.
Step Seven: Celebrate Your Wins Along the Way
Don’t wait until you’re totally done decluttering to celebrate your progress.
Instead, congratulate yourself along the way as you reach different decluttering milestones. After all, decluttering for seniors isn’t always easy.
Recognize your accomplishments and feel good about the progress that you’re making along the way. Taking those moments to celebrate can help you stay motivated to continue making progress towards your decluttering goals.
Take Time to Declutter Now: Here’s Why
The thought of decluttering might be overwhelming, but trust me – when it’s over, it can be such a relief. Decluttering is a gift to yourself, and to your family as well.
Many people don’t realize just how much stress their cluttered environment is causing until all of that clutter is gone and they can finally relax.
You’ll be less stressed. You will have less stuff to clean and organize. You’ll be able to move more freely through your space and won’t struggle to find the things you need in your clean, decluttered home.
And those are just a few of the benefits you’ll experience from decluttering your home.
Are you downsizing and decluttering as a senior? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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