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Sandwiched Between Stuff: Combating Clutter

 Posted by Michele McGregor on July 13, 2021 at 2:00 PM

A healthy home is important for any family. If you are a Sandwich Gen Caregiver that could include your children and parents too. Clutter-free homes are healthy environments that make it easier for each member of your household to be the best version of themselves. Many caregivers feel a burden to clear everything at once but keeping your space clear and clutter free could be a small task you do daily, weekly, or monthly if you are caring for parents or an older loved one.

 

What are the benefits of clearing clutter?

As a home becomes more “lived in” over the years, an accumulation of physical representations of special moments happens over that time. From gifts from loved ones, keepsakes, photos, furniture and items with fond memories to storing special items for friends or loved ones, treasured items continue to be acquired and admired. Quite often the memories attached to what we have is more powerful than the item itself. To put this accumulation in perspective it’s important to know the average American home has over 300,000 items. If you find you are running out of space, your clutter may be a hazard.

 

 

What changes can I make for older loved one’s in their home or mine?

Remove any slip or trip hazards from the floor.

It’s important to remove items like worn rugs, excess furniture, exposed cords, or any other objects that will obscure a clear moving path.

 

Keep high use items in a convenient place.

All of us take comfort in very specific items. It could be a favorite blanket, a coffee mug, a cozy sweater. Whatever “it” is, the best way for an older to enjoy it is in a convenient way. Placing items strategically encourages use that does not require a constant search to use a treasured item.

 

Be sure to keep the home bright and open.

Lighting the home properly has benefits above and beyond sight itself. Some experts suggest using brighter bulbs, hanging colorful artwork, or opening windows, curtains, and blinds to let more natural light in as well.

 

What can I do to keep my home clutter-free after we’ve decluttered?

We have a list of ways you can declutter in 15 minutes or less to keep your home safe for yourself and those you love.

  • Designate a basket or bin for mail. Use a basket in a convenient area to hold recent mail. Clear the container once a week to stay clutter free.
  • Clear the counter of rarely used appliances. Appliances tend to take up large amounts of space. One way to quickly give any space a facelift is clearing the counters by removing appliances that are rarely used to remove clutter.
  • Keep an eye on expiration dates for pantry items and cosmetics. This is a task most families overlook or forget to do. The benefit in clearing the cabinets on a consistent basis is the extra space after expired items are removed.
  • Inventory and discard forgotten fresh produce, herbs and leftovers. Fresh produce, herbs, and leftovers have a limited shelf life. If you think the refrigerator is a bit cluttered, take a few minutes to get rid of forgotten produce and days old leftovers.
  • Create donation containers in bedrooms to purge weekly. If you have a surplus of useful gently used items, designate a container as a donation box in the bedrooms or pantry. Empty the container in weekly or monthly intervals by donating to local food pantries or thrift stores.
  • Consider hiring a professional to help you host an estate sale or online auction. If you notice clutter isn’t going away no matter what you do, it could be time to hire professionals to clear clutter. Caring Transitions can help you host an estate sale or online auction in addition to sorting and organizing items in your home.