Just because seniors’ overall health is no longer in pristine condition doesn’t mean they need to reside in senior communities as soon as possible. When choosing between a senior community and a home, many seniors prefer to stay put in their loving homes.
With aging marking a milestone in seniors’ life journey, their needs for a new living space evolve. In other words, even if they have lived in their home for years, it no longer keeps up with special needs arising in their retirement years. The best home for seniors must be safe, comfortable, and accessible. Geriatric experts suggest that seniors can still very much enjoy a relaxing retirement in style with just a few touches to their home space. Discover how to organize and declutter in 8 easy tips to take your parents’ homes up a level.
How To Organize and Declutter Seniors’ Homes: A Useful Guide To Help Your Parents Afford A Simplified, Stress-Free Lifestyle
How To Organize and Declutter Your Parents’ Home: 8 Easy Tips and Tricks
Keeping an organized home can be a challenge for most seniors. Over the years, seniors’ homes are often cluttered with countless items collected over the years. Most seniors would rather leave their homes as it is. Most seniors don’t have the inclination to turn their children’s old bedrooms into storage. Other seniors struggle to part ways with their possessions, even if they no longer need them. Are you trying to help your seniors declutter and organize their houses? Use these tips to make living easier for them.
Take A Look Around
Seeing what you are working with is the first step in organizing and decluttering your parents’ house. Rome wasn’t built in one day, so there’s no reason to rush it. The process of house decluttering can span several weeks or even months. While planning allows you to see the bigger picture, the gap between this step and the actual decluttering process gives your parents more time for unexpected situations, such as sudden health issues. Taking a tour first will help you assess the overall situation and identify the biggest problems along the way. Once the observation is complete, you can start charting the plan with your parents. Here are two tips: break down the process by focusing on one room at a time. Start from easier spaces to more cluttered ones.
Use The Four-Box Method
A popular decluttering approach that works all the time is “Four Boxes.” Use carton boxes, plastic containers, or baskets labeled in four different categories to determine the fate of all items: keep – appraise and sell – keep with me – donate/sell/trash. The step of tackling one room at a time can become much more manageable with these boxes. It allows you and your parents to make decisions faster and choose the right destination for unwanted stuff. If your parents find it difficult to part ways with their belongings, help encourage them to consider if they should keep the item by asking them, “Have you used this in the past 6 months?”
Dispose of Trip Hazards
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one out of every four older adults fall each year. Falling is particularly concerning among seniors because they take longer to recover, and bedridden periods can affect their physical and mental health as a whole. Removing hazardous items in the household is a practical measure you can take to make your parents’ home a safer haven.
- Move bulky furniture out of common areas.
- Throw away broken furniture and unnecessary items/appliances.
- Give away uncomfortable seats.
- Clear throw rugs and carpets out of doorsteps and staircases.
- Declutter and store cables and electric outlets in drawers or baskets.
Prioritize The Kitchen
Let’s admit it: the kitchen can stress your parents out! So it is essential to prioritize the cooking space over other rooms. Keeping the kitchen clean and tidy also reduces seniors’ food poisoning risk.
Before cleaning the fridge and the pantry, go over all contents to ensure your parents will not consume rotten foods. Some seniors cling to expired foods for weird reasons, so it is best to repeat this step, though daunting, to keep them safe. When organizing the pantry, place items with longer shelf life to the back and move the ones frequently used to the front. Make sure to wipe all spills, crumbs, stains, and particles on the surfaces.
For kitchen appliances, allocate them to lower storage for easy access and keep frequently used items within reach. Lastly, dispose of unused, broken, or dirty kitchen wares and utensils to make drawers less cluttered.
Relocate To The First Floor
Although this tip might not apply to all seniors, it might be worth it if your parents live in a two-story house. Most seniors encounter tender joints at advanced ages, so climbing stairs daily can become hazardous at any given point. Moving all activities to the first floor is the most practical way for your parents to afford a stress-free lifestyle. You can repurpose all the rooms if you see fit. For example, upstairs bedrooms can be turned into storage rooms, while the living room can be an all-purpose space for dining and hosting guests. Another perk of this tip is that your parents can save on utilities as they spend most of their days downstairs.
Invest In Storage Solutions
The Four-Box method leaves room for extra storage, but your parents are also left with large bins of items slumping everywhere. Another pro tip on how to organize and declutter your parents’ home is getting creative with vertical storage. So, what is vertical storage, you might ask? In other words, vertical storage can mean various things, from shelves, racks, and hooks to pegboards and magnetic holders.
Installing sturdy metal shelves is a clever way to make the most of vertical space. When organizing an efficient shelving system, place heavier boxes at the bottom and start building your way up with boxes getting smaller. It reduces your parents’ need to reach overhead when they need to find something, which can be dangerous to their backs. Wall-mounted pegboards are helpful for hanging mugs, kitchen wares, and hand tools, so your parents no longer need to dig through cabinets and drawers.
Tidy Medicine Cabinets
One reason why tidying medicine cabinets deserves an entire section is that your parents can be at serious health risks if they accidentally consume expired medicines. Much like the pantry, medicine cabinets can be cluttered with expired medications. So you, caregivers, and family members should keep a close eye on this step to ensure your parents’ medicine cabinets are cleared of spoiled pills and that medicines in good condition are stored correctly. Bathroom cupboards also need attention like medicine cabinets. Throw away sunscreens, lotions, and bath products that have expired or smell bad. Learn how to dispose of expired medicines safely here.
Call In Help
Decluttering your parents’ homes can be tedious, so don’t hesitate to call for extra help. Friends, family members, and relatives can make the process more manageable and enjoyable. They can also give you and your parents valuable advice during the Four-box method. Hiring professional organizers is a way to go if you and everyone else are too overwhelmed over how to organize and declutter your parents’ house. A professional organizer has the experience and skill to help! They can efficiently transform, repurpose, make the most of space, and provide practical organizing tips and tricks.
How To Organize and Declutter Seniors’ Homespace: The Checklist
If you are new to tidying your parents’ house, use the following checklist to keep things in order and avoid confusion.
Books and Papers
- Books that your parents have read and won’t read
- Duplicate copies of books
- Old mail and paid bills
- Old magazines and catalogs
- Outdated calendars and day runners
- Expired coupons and vouchers
- Excess decor sitting on shelves
- Faded or worn fake flowers
- Holiday decorations your parents no longer use
- Clothes that your parents no longer wear or fit
- Accessories that your parents no longer need
- Worn-out shoes
- Excess hangers
- Worn-out towels
- Excess bedsheets, washcloths, and rags
- Stained or worn-out tablecloths
If you have questions about how to organize and declutter your seniors’ house or any topics discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks Senior Living Communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG
Searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living Communities, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a visit.