Sometimes people have too much clutter.
For most people, this isn’t a huge problem as they are mobile and can easily maneuver around it. (While that isn’t a good thing, it makes things a bit safer.)
I remember my Zayde (Grandfather) at the end of his life needing a walker, and he had a lot of trouble getting around his own home because there was too much stuff to move the walker around.
He insisted it wasn’t a big deal, but we could also see it was difficult for him to move around the house and life was becoming more of a struggle.
For people who are older, having a lot of clutter can be dangerous. One fall can really be hazardous and can be a game-changer (and not in a good way!)
Many older people downsize to smaller living quarters with their big furniture which can make it cramped when they need to maneuver with a walker or wheelchair.
Even my mother, who recently passed away, and who my upcoming book is in memory of (pre-order your copy here) had trouble getting around some of the curves in our house as she became less and less mobile and I didn’t think the house was particularly cluttered. (Though she did have some, she was good at hiding it, our house always looked tidy!)
It isn’t just the furniture – it is also the stuff that can sometimes accumulate when you are less mobile.
In my experience, there are all sorts of things that get added to your life when you are older, an assortment of tools to assist you to do daily tasks, extra meds, papers, and all sorts of miscellaneous things.
The best thing you can do for yourself or a family member as they age is to help them keep their homes clear of clutter and arrange systems so that things coming in have a way to be sorted and organized properly.
If you are moving a family member from a home to an apartment or if you are adapting their space to be more accessible now is the time to:
Remove extra large furniture that can be difficult to maneuver around.
Declutter and get rid of the junk.
Give away the stuff that is no longer being used and being kept just in case.
One of my 80+ clients decided that they were now going to get meal delivery daily from a meal on wheels type service and so we worked together to clear out the kitchen. She told me a few weeks later it was one of the best things we did together because now it is easier for her to grab what she needs.
It was difficult for her to part with a lot of her more fancy servicing pieces or larger storage containers but in the end – she decided that since she doesn’t entertain anymore it was better to keep only what she needed for ease of use now and so that after she passes her kids have less work.
So in honor of your older family members, I am making a plea to declutter your home (or theirs) so you can maneuver more safely and with ease.
Having less will allow you or your family members to preserve your dignity, stay safe, and live your best life.
If you need helping to clear out your clutter, book a consultation today for an in-home service session or a Done In A Day Declutter session.
Can’t wait to help you with your Journey to Organization and creating a safer home environment!