The new year is a fresh start, a new beginning, and an excellent opportunity to take the plunge and finally declutter your home. It’s the daunting project that you keep putting off, and every time you delay it, it seems as though the clutter just keeps piling up.
Luckily, decluttering and home organization is somewhat of a trend right now, with popular TV shows like Tidying Up With Marie Kondo and The Home Edit bestowing insider tips and strategies to make your home a relaxing, clutter-free space.
Franklin Park® offers luxury senior living communities throughout San Antonio, and we know how important it is to keep your home decluttered—and not just for organization but also for your mental health. We’re sharing some tips on how to declutter and downsize your home and why it’s important to do so, especially for older adults.
Why Decluttering is Important for Seniors
Mess Equals Stress
Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary, a place for you to relax. But when your closets are overflowing, piles of papers cover every surface, and your junk drawer is so full it won’t close, your home becomes less of a sanctuary and more of chaotic disarray.
“In a survey conducted by the National Association for Professional Organizers in 2015, it found that over a third of readers were overwhelmed by their clutter (verywellmind.com).” So, not only do stacks of dishes in the sink and clothes scattered on the floor look disordered, but they can cause feelings of anxiety as well.
Embarrassment and Isolation
In addition to causing stress and anxiety, excess clutter can impact your confidence. While a neat and tidy home is inviting to guests, a messy and unorganized house can be the opposite. For individuals that have a cluttered home, having guests over could be stressful and embarrassing. At a certain point, some may think it’s easier to simply not have guests than to tidy up, which could ultimately lead to feelings of isolation.
No Space for Healthy Activities
Having a cluttered home can even impede your ability to do healthy and fun activities that you enjoy. For example, if there’s a significant amount of clutter, it may be difficult for you to find space to place a yoga mat or table room for a jigsaw puzzle.
Prepare to Downsize Your Home
Decluttering and organizing are especially essential for older adults because unnecessary clutter can become more of a hazard as we get older.
Beyond that, getting rid of clutter and going through your belongings can help you in downsizing your home. Whether you’re planning on moving out of your long-time home into something more suitable or you’re making the transition into a senior living community, downsizing is a lot more manageable when things are already organized and minimal.
Tips for Decluttering and Downsizing Your Home
Set a Time and Commit
Unfortunately, you can’t just put away a few items for five minutes a day and hope that your home will become organized. It can take hours to thoroughly declutter a house, even longer if it’s notably disorganized. According to professional organizer Barbara Reich, you should set aside a time on your calendar to declutter and honor it like you would a medical appointment.
Find What Works Best
Looking at your house as a whole can be overwhelming, so it’s best to divide it up into smaller sections that you can tackle more easily. The key is finding a rhythm and a method that works for you—many experts will say go room to room, while Marie Kondo advises going by category instead (clothes, books, documents).
Use Boxes (The Right Way)
Everyone is familiar with the quintessential way of organizing and decluttering by throwing things in one of three boxes: keep, donate, or trash. This method can be helpful, but only if done the right way. People will all too often try to justify keeping something because it was a gift, or they might use it someday. Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding what goes in what box:
- Have I used or worn this item in the last year?
- Do I have another item that accomplishes the same task?
- Is this item broken or unable to be repurposed in any practical way?
- Would it impact my daily life not to have this item?
- Is this item unique, sentimental, or irreplaceable? If so, is there a way I can digitally archive it or display it in my home?
Decluttering and downsizing your home doesn’t have to be a drab and tedious experience. Enlist the help of your friends and family (and maybe pay them back in lunch), play some lively music, and get organized! It can be especially fun to go through old photos, schoolwork, and souvenirs and recollect good memories together.
New Year, New Space
Whether you’re planning on downsizing, moving to a luxury senior living community like Franklin Park®, or simply want a tidier home to support your mental health, taking the time to declutter and organize can do wonders. After getting rid of unnecessary clutter and rearranging and organizing your rooms, you’ll find that your home can become a relaxing space where you enjoy spending time.
Franklin Park® Senior Living has luxury senior living communities throughout the San Antonio area. If you’re interested in downsizing your home and moving into a senior apartment, we invite you to contact us and learn about our resort-style communities.
From all of us at Franklin Park®, we wish you a Happy New Year and Happy Tidying!