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  • Karen McPhail, RN, MSN

Navigating Fall Decluttering!

Fall is upon us! In many areas the leaves are already beginning fall! What a terrific time to regroup a bit and do some decluttering and organizing! After a fun summer we often have a garage filled with items that we may not really need! This is especially an issue for seniors as they tend to accumulate many years of items and often times do not take the time to reorganize, toss, or donate. It is important from a health standpoint to reduce clutter as it causes stress and anxiety which can effect overall health. In many senior homes it also presents a safety hazard that can lead to serious injury.

Some simple suggestions to guide you in the direction of a more clutter free home!

1. Treasure of toss? Over the years we tend to stash away and hold onto items for a variety of reasons. Think of the items that you truly treasure and ensure that you keep them. If you still have too much clutter consider gifting some items to family members so that they can also treasure them! In terms of clothing and other items if you have not worn it or used it in the past 6 months it may be time for it to go!

2. One too many? How many hoses or lawn chairs do you need? In most people’s homes they have multiple items that they simply do not need. Take the time to reduce the amount of items in your home and go with the essentials. You will feel a sense of relief once you have reduced the amount of unnecessary clutter!

3. Child’s play! Many children tend to leave behind possessions in their parents homes for many years! Provide your children with time frame for collecting their items, so that they stay on track in helping to achieve your decluttering goals!

4. Keep it simple! If you cannot find place to keep the it or a real use for it then donate it!

5. Stay on point! Do not have a maybe pile and do not second guess yourself! Often times people start out strong and then weaken when doing decluttering! Stick to your basic rules: no duplicates and if it is not used it should go!

6. Time to revisit? Mark your calendar to do a yearly declutter! As much as we try to keep things simple and streamline, we tend to accumulate more throughout the year! Reassess and organize areas at least once a year as you will find that your home will be a happier and more stress free environment for all!

7. Still Overwhelmed? Contact a care manager who can assist in finding cost effective and efficient resources in your area!

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