Our childhood homes collect a lifetime of memories. Though we move on to start families of our own, often Mom and Dad keep a collection of mementos from years gone by. Some of these have high emotional value: baby pictures, Grandma’s fine china, vintage collectors’ items. Others are just items that stack up over the years: ill-fitting clothes, dusty magazines, broken Christmas lights, board games with missing pieces, and so on. This clutter continues to collect, to the point that it feels impossible to tackle. If you just take it one step at a time, decluttering can provide a world of relief for Mom and Dad as they transition into the golden years. Here are seven compelling reasons to convince your parents that it’s time to declutter:
Easier to Maintain
Ultimately, a clutter-free home will be a lot easier to clean and maintain as the years go by. Physiologically, it will also be more motivating to keep a tidy home tidy rather than viewing it as a lost cause. With a place for everything and everything in its place, the dream of aging at home is a lot more realistic.
Prepare to Downsize
If their current home is too big for Mom and Dad, it may be time to downsize. Not only will this prioritize accessibility and make cleaning easier, it will also save money on rent/mortgage and utilities. Decluttering is a necessary step if you plan to move, as there simply won’t be the space in the new home.
Get the Home Ready for Sale
In order to downsize, Mom and Dad will need to prepare the home for sale. To help the home sell well and maximize the resale value, clutter has to go. A blank canvas is best for potential buyers so they can visualize themselves living in the space.
Make a Difference
Not all clutter is junk. Those items that Mom and Dad have been collecting in drawers, closets, and the basement could have real value to others. When decluttering, sort all items into “keep,” “donate,” and “recycle/trash” sections. Items like furniture, gently used clothing, books, and sports equipment can likely be donated to families in need.
If you have a section of the home that you can’t or won’t access due to clutter, the space is more likely to collect dust, allergens, or even mold. Poor indoor air quality is associated with a range of health problems and can worsen symptoms if Mom or Dad has a heart or lung condition. Declutter to improve the air quality at home.
Living in a messy environment can be a great source of stress. According to Psychology Today, clutter causes anxiety, guilt, embarrassment, tension, and frustration. Decluttering can increase relaxation, improve focus, encourage creativity and productivity, and make home feel like home once more.
Don’t look at the process of decluttering as a miserable, back-breaking task. Instead, focus on the positives. In addition the benefits listed here, think of decluttering as a chance to walk down memory road with Mom and Dad. You’re not just cleaning out the basement – you’re also reliving old memories as you rediscover old baby clothes, 3rd grade art projects, and high school prom photos. For Mom and Dad, maybe they come across wedding pictures, their favourite Beatles LP, or a plaque from work. Share in the memories and tell stories of the old days as you work together to make the future bright and clean.
Assurance Home Caregivers can assist with light housekeeping duties to help Mom and Dad enjoy independence and keep the home clean and comfortable. We can tailor a caregiving program specific to the needs of Mom and Dad. Give us a call at 613-706-1586 or contact us to discuss in further detail.