For many of us, clutter is one of life’s little annoyances that we
can’t seem to shake, no matter how old we get. It may not be as
frightening as death or taxes, but it is just as certain, and – unless
you’re one of the very disciplined, very organized few – just as
For seniors, however, it can be a special challenge. In
addition to creating a messy home and making it difficult to find things
when they’re needed, clutter can increase your senior’s risk of
household accidents, such as trips and falls. It can even be a fire
At Home Instead Senior Care serving the southeast valley, we have worked with many seniors and their families to reduce clutter creep. Some of our tried-and-true techniques include:
• Mail and billso Arrange for your senior to pay their bills online, or offer to do it for them.o
Discontinue magazine subscriptions and buy them at the newsstand
instead. This will cut back on the eternal deluge of renewal notices.o Ask that your senior be removed from mailing lists or visit one of these websites to do it for them: https://www.dmachoice.org/ https://www.catalogchoice.org/ https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t
• Photos and Mementoso
The most efficient way to organize photos is to digitize them. This way
your senior can enjoy them on a continual loop in a digital photo frame
or screen saver, or they can store them on a DVD. The downside to this
is that it can be costly and/or time consuming, and your senior might
not trust the technology enough to be comfortable getting rid of the
o If your senior is able, they might enjoy
participating in a scrapbooking group or class where they can catalogue
their photos and be creative all at the same time. This is also a great
activity for people of all ages to share with a senior.
Sometimes seniors don’t necessarily want all the photos or their
children’s school projects around but feel guilty about getting rid of
them. Consider hosting a memory open house, where all the people who
have helped your senior make these memories (their children, other
relatives, friends) can come by and look through the items, taking home
the things that mean something to them. Of course, even if a senior has
said an item is up for grabs, the person should still double check
before taking it.
• General Cluttero
Offer to help your senior sort through their closet. Designate one bin
for storage and one for donations and one for trash, make sure that
every item either goes in one of the bins or has an easily accessible
spot where it belongs in your senior’s home.
o Every season, do an
update of the closet and the storage bin. If the senior hasn’t needed
the item in storage or won’t in the upcoming season, maybe it’s time to
relegate it to donations or trash.
For more information about decluttering, visit caregiverstress.com. For more information about the care and well-being of seniors, please contact us at 480-827-4343 or visit us on Facebook.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.