Decluttering Tips for Seniors
10 Creative Decluttering Tips
If you’re struggling and need guidance on how to declutter, you’ll need to get creative with your plans. Here are several interesting decluttering tips to get you started on decluttering your home:
- Start with 5 minutes at a time. If you’re new to decluttering, you can slowly build momentum with just five minutes a day.
- Give one item away each day. This would remove 365 items every single year from your home. If you increased this to 2 per day, you would have given away 730 items you no longer needed. Increase this number once it gets too easy.
- Fill an entire trash bag. Get a trash bag and fill it as fast as you can with things you can donate at Goodwill.
- Donate clothes you never wear. To identify them, simply hang all your clothes with hangers in the reverse direction. After wearing an item, face the hanger in the correct direction. Discard the clothes you never touched after a few months.
- Create a decluttering checklist. It’s a lot easier to declutter when you have a visual representation of where you need to get started.
- Take the 12-12-12 challenge. Locate 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to be returned to their proper home.
- View your home as a first-time visitor. It’s easy to “forget” what your home looks like to a new visitor. Enter your home as if you’re visiting the home of a friend. Write down your first impression on how clean and organized the home is and make changes.
- Take before and after photos of a small area. Choose one part of your home, like your kitchen counter, and take a photo of a small area. Quickly clean off the items in the photo and take an after photo. Once you see how your home could look, it becomes easier to start decluttering more of your home.
- Get help from a friend. Have a friend or family member go through your home and suggest a handful of big items to throw away or give to someone else. If you defend the item and want to keep it, your friend has to agree with your reason. If they don’t agree, it’s time to get rid of it.
- Use the Four-Box Method. Get four boxes and label them: trash, give away, keep, or re-locate. Enter any room in your home and place each item into one of the following boxes. Don’t skip a single item, no matter how insignificant you may think it is. This may take days, weeks, or months, but it will help you see how many items you really own and you’ll know exactly what to do with each item.
4 Essential Decluttering Tips for Seniors
- Sort out what you want to throw away or donate first. A great first step in the decluttering process is sorting possessions into three groups: stuff to keep, donate, and throw away, according to the AARP article “Declutter Your Life – Now!”
You can enlist friends or family members to help you and put on some music to make it more fun, professional organizer Barbara Reich told the AARP. Once you’re free of the possessions you don’t need, then you can move on to organizing what you want to keep.
- Remove anything that could cause you to trip and fall. For seniors, falling is a serious health hazard: An older adult dies from a fall every 20 minutes in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a result, it’s important to identify and remove any tripping hazards as part of the decluttering process.
That can involve not only clearing items off the floor but also removing throw rugs, getting rid of furniture you don’t use, and taping down electrical cords, according to the DailyCaring article “Declutter Your Older Adult’s Living Space.”
- Consider what you use most often and keep those items within reach. Take some time to pick out things you use a lot (e.g., the TV remote, your reading glasses, tissues, and other types of necessities), DailyCaring advises. Organize your living space so that these essentials are within reach of the spot(s) where you usually sit.
- Don’t take on the task alone. Consider bringing in a specialist. Decluttering and moving/revamping your living space can prove stressful and time-consuming.