A cluttered home can do more than be aesthetically unpleasing. It can place your parent or loved one at risk for developing anxiety and depression; it prevents our brains from calming down and can restrict our creativity.
HarborChase Senior Living’s communities were created to provide an exceptional retirement experience. One where our residents are properly cared for and respected for their uniqueness, strengths, and history. Moreover, we understand how much mementos matter to our residents, but we also realize the negative impact hoarding can cause them.
We advise that our residents make their new home truly theirs by decorating the space to reflect their unique personalities and taste. We also recognize the risk that can follow along with moving, such as bringing too many items and thus creating a stressful cluttered environment.
Importance of Decluttering
While clutter-filled environments have been linked with signs of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, here is a list of the positive benefits associated with a clutter-free living environment!
- Your loved one will feel better physically and mentally in a clean setting
- Prevents allergies associated with dust particles
- Prevents infections due to bacteria born in clutter
- Improves health habits, including but not limited to sleeping better
- Stimulates a better daily mood which allows them to focus on their personal goals
It’s important to realize that once your loved one has decluttered, it will give them inner peace, self-confidence, and many times, even strengthen their decision-making skills. Furthermore, decluttering can make your loved one’s home a safer and more welcoming environment for family, friends, and guests.
Beginning the Decluttering Process
One of the most important steps of decluttering is finding the root of the problem that caused the clutter in the first place. The founders of NEAT Method, Ashley Murphy and Molly Graves, believe that a majority of people fall into the following clutter personalities:
- Too Busy = Too Many Extras: You or your loved one buy items already owned because you/they don’t have a system in place to store them, or the time to properly search through all possible storage locations.
- Constant Worrier = Must Save Everything: You or your loved one are worried that you may need something for future use, so you hold onto items “just in case” they are needed.
- Overwhelmed in Life = Overwhelmed at Home: You or your loved one are aware of the problem but are unaware of where to start, so instead of fixing the problem, you live with the chaos and allow the clutter to continuously build.
Identifying which personality above matches your loved one’s situation can help you ensure they don’t run into future issues. If they are a too busy personality, stop your loved one from buying an item and give a reasonable amount of time to search to ensure he or she does not already own it. For the constant worrier personality, take an inventory of the things your loved one has and assess which ones are practical to keep. If your loved one is overwhelmed in life and at home, taking small steps may be the best solution. The decluttering process can be a lengthy process or a quick one, depending on your loved one’s personality and situation. Clearing out one shelf, cabinet, or drawer a day is still a victory!
A helpful tool to assist in the decluttering process is to ask your loved one when the last time they’ve used or read specified items was. If it is not being used daily, weekly or even monthly, it should be considered as an item to donate to a local charity or discard.
“Decluttering has a domino effect on better living. . . [and] allows you to perform tasks of daily living more efficiently because everything you need is readily available and within reach,” says Darcey Rojas, a home designer, and wellness advocate. Our HarborChase Senior Living communities believe that decluttering does not mean forgetting all of a senior’s memories or ignoring their history. But, instead, moving on with life and easing the emotions connected to those items. There may also be memories that can also hold them back emotionally, and to remove said item from their home may alleviate these feelings and aid their healing process.
Decluttering can be a daunting task, especially if your loved one has accumulated many items during their lifetime. However, the true goal should be to clean up the space and take steps to prevent clutter from building up in the home again. Collecting or keeping items in life is normal, but once an item outlives its purpose, that is when it becomes unnecessary clutter. Removing these unnecessary items can make room for the things they cherish, as well as make room for new items they may need.
For larger items that your parent or loved one is keeping to pass along to future generations, consider renting a storage unit so that these items don’t need to take up space in their home. For smaller items, installing extra storage space to a home, i.e. additional shelving, drawers, or cabinets, can be a great way to ensure your loved one has ample space to help them maintain a decluttered home life.
Downsizing to Senior Living
While downsizing from a large home to a smaller living space may not be desirable for some, as we age, a larger home can become trickier to navigate. If your parent or loved one’s house has unused living spaces or unoccupied rooms, it may be a sign that it is time to downsize. Downsizing before the transition to a smaller space or senior living community can also allow you to account for every item in the current home so you can alleviate the clutter as you and your loved one process the move.
If your parent or loved one is looking to downsize from a home to an apartment, it may be beneficial to seek a senior living community, like one of our communities at HarborChase Senior Living. A senior living community can be the perfect way to relish in retirement, and ensure that your loved one can receive proper attention in a safe, welcoming, and relaxing environment.
At HarborChase Senior Living, we provide unparalleled service to each of our residents that surpasses their expectations, as well as their families. Our beautiful, spacious, and inviting communities, create successful and safe opportunities for our residents and their aging process, like assisting them with living in a clutter-free environment.
To learn more about HarborChase Senior Living communities, we invite you to visit our website. To assist in providing your parent or loved one with exceptional care and engaging opportunities to maintain their physical and mental state healthy, contact us today!