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 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
- 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.