Seniors Learn To Clear Clutter and Downsize the Easy Way

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6 practical tips for seniors to downsize and clear clutter in their homes. Downsizing gives you several options if you are planning on moving or if you plan on staying in your home. You decide before the decision has to be made for you.

Are you thinking about downsizing to move to a smaller home? You can downsize even if you don’t plan on moving. Reducing the amount of possessions on a regular basis will help avoid the physical exertion and emotional trauma of doing it all at once.

Are you living in a home that has become too large for you and it is harder to go up and down the stairs? Are you afraid of getting rid of things because you are afraid you’ll be getting rid of your memories?

Clearing the clutter from a house you’ve lived in for years can seem like an impossible or overwhelming task.

Sometimes it is our adult children that interfere with our moving plans as they don’t want us to leave the home where they have fond memories of growing up. Or it could be that they want us to move but are afraid of suggesting it to us.

Emma was concerned about her elderly parents staying alone in their family home as they were getting older and she worried about them. Her father would forget to take his medications and when encouraged to take them he would become angry and accuse her mother of treating him like a child.

They had been taken advantage of by a man who had come to their home and telling them their roof needed repairing. Being trusting people they gave him several thousand dollars for repairs and never saw him again.

Her mother didn’t see as well as she used to and when she spilt some water on the floor she slipped and fell. She bruised her leg and was sore for several days.

The laundry room is in the basement and it is hard for her parents to go up and down the stairs to do their laundry. Her mother never complained but to wore her out to do the laundry.

Her mother drove her father to his doctor’s appointments but this made Emma uneasy as she was worried that her mother might cause an accident as her reflexes weren’t as good as they used to be.

Emma could see that socially they were isolated as their friends and family had moved away from the neighborhood. They would talk about how they wanted to go out and have fun doing activities but didn’t have anyone to go with and her mother couldn’t drive at night.

Emma thought it would be hard for her parents to leave the home they had lived in for 30 years. She was also concerned about clearing the clutter accumulated over a lifetime. She decided to talk to them about downsizing and preparing for a move to a retirement home. She expected resistance when she talked to her parents about moving and she was prepared to let the idea of downsizing and moving to a smaller home sit with them for a while to get used to the idea.

She was surprised when they were eager to move to a smaller place. They wanted a place with less up keep and where they could be around others their own age.  They also wanted a house that was all on one level.

They had actually wanted to move for some time but were afraid Emma and their other children would not want them to leave this house where they had been reared.

If any of this sounds familiar and you do want to clear clutter whether you are moving or staying in your home here are six easy to follow tips to make downsizing easier.

· Evaluate each room one at a time and decide what you plan to keep and what you want to give away.

· Discuss with your family that you are clearing clutter to prepare for a move. Have them come to your home and give them colored stickers. Tell them to walk around and put a sticker on items they want. If there are duplicates on an item they can negotiate as to who gets it.

· Make a plan to get rid of what you don’t use, love or that you no longer want to keep.

· Take photos of things you want to get rid of but are having a hard time parting with and put them in a photo album.

· If you are storing your adult children’s possessions give them a date they need to have them removed. If they don’t come and get their things donate them.

·Remember what you put in storage is just delaying making a decision.

Consider the wonderful opportunities that will be opening up to you such as easier and better living after moving from a house that has out grown you.

There are comfortable condominiums, gated communities, retirement centers, assisted care centers or perhaps a “mother-in-law apartment” that would better meet your needs. When moving it is easier to clear the clutter that somehow has accumulated over the years. And it gives you such a sense of freedom and a lot fewer things to have to dust.

MarilynHealth Fitness Articles, a professional organizer and author is passionate about organizing for women and seniors in clearing clutter from their lives. Her book “Go Organize!” is now in major bookstores. Visit her website

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Author: Marilyn Bohn

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