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Decluttering Your Seniors Home

When your home is filled with a lifetime of memories, it can be hard to part with things. Paring down a lifetime's worth of possessions can feel overwhelming. Homes can become cluttered and almost dangerous to live in. Common problems for seniors who live in excessive clutter are trips and falls; overlooking bills and missing medications that are hidden in the clutter; and suffering from the environmental effects of mold, mildew and dust.

If a senior in your life intends to stay in their home, there will come a time when they need to look at decluttering and organizing their belongings, before it becomes a personal safety concern. Doing so will allow you and your loved one to access what you want easily and maneuver more easily though the home. Here are a few tips to help make the process easier:

  1. Declutter room by room: It's not necessary to go through the entire home in one day, and that can become very emotionally exhausting for some people. Breaking the tasks into smaller pieces (a dresser one day, the kitchen cabinets the next) might feel easier to you. 
  2. Organize important documents: This is the perfect time to organize financial and legal documents for your loved one in case they are needed later.
  3. Donate: It's easier to give things away when you know they are going to a good cause. Charitable organizations and local thrift shops are good starting points.
  4. Preserve memories: It's important to remain realistic about how many items you are able to keep.  Some people find that taking a photo prior to donating or getting rid of an item is a more practical way to preserve the memory.

Cleaning out the home can be difficult and others may try to tell you what you should do, but remember you know what's best for your situation.