There are many things older adults can do to make their living quarters more practical and comfortable.

Depending on the size and cost of the current residence, seniors may benefit from either downsizing or decluttering their homes.

If the residence is just too big, and there is no practical way to make use of all the space, then downsizing could be a smart move.

 

On the other hand, if the amount of space is fine, but there is just no room to maneuver due to heavy clutter, then clearing some things away is probably the way to go.

Whether you are decluttering or downsizing, one of the first steps is getting rid of junk and anything that just doesn’t get used.

How can I declutter my home?

Freeing your home from clutter presents itself as a discouraging and intimidating task for most.

Having the right attitude and taking an organized approach can make a huge difference in the stress and effort associated with the project.

You don’t have do it all in one day. In fact, trying to do it all at once is not recommended or likely even possible.

So, where to begin?

Make a Plan

Whether the move to declutter is just to free up some space, or to prepare for a downsizing move, planning and organization is key.

Sorting

First off, you will need some containers for all the items you will no longer be keeping. You can use as many bins as you need for your situation, but most items will likely fall into one of four categories:

  • Keep
  • Trash
  • Recycle
  • Donate

Keep

This container is for any items that you wish to keep, but are currently not in the designated spot or they don’t have a home yet.

Trash

For items you will be throwing away, that will not likely have any use for anyone.

Recycle

Keep a recycling bin handy for any paper, plastic, glass, or metal items that need to go out.

Donate

Ideally this is where the majority of the items you are getting rid of will go. Anything you think might be useful for others can be donated to charity or individuals that need it.

Systematic Approach

Once you have all your containers ready, the next step is to attack the house, room by room, in a systematic fashion.

Let’s start with the bathroom.

Bathroom

A surprising amount of clutter can accumulate in the bathroom. A good place to start is the medicine cabinet.

A good approach is to take everything out of the cabinet to begin with. Then, only put back the items you still use.

This is an excellent opportunity to get rid of expired medications, and any other outdated products.

The same thing can be done with any other drawers or shelves in the bathroom.

If you are feeling extra ambitious, now is a good time to give your bathroom a thorough cleaning.

Bedroom

A good place to start in the bedroom is with the bed. Now is a good time to change the sheets and make the bed, so it is looking tidy.

Next, pick up everything off the floor and assign it to the appropriate bin. Desk, dresser, and table tops can follow.

Then, there is the whole job of clothing. Most people have way more clothes than they actually need. Only keep the things you wear regularly.

Kitchen

The kitchen is a big job due to all the food products, cooking utensils, and appliances.

Take the same systematic approach to clearing away expired food, and items you don’t use.

Entries and Walkways

Keep all entries and walkways around the house as clear of clutter as possible. These areas should be cleared on a regular basis.

Now you are much closer to being ready for a move, or you can just relax and enjoy your comfortable and clutter-free space.

Downsizing

If you are decluttering for the purposes of moving to a smaller home then you have done some admirable preparation work to make the transition smoother.

If you are looking to downsize, there are a few things you can consider to make your decision clearer.

Some things to think about when downsizing, are:

  • Spatial needs
  • Financial practicality
  • Real estate market
  • Neighborhood
  • Required upkeep
  • Supplementary expenses
  • Seek knowledgeable advice
  • Don’t rush into a decision
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