“I may have a use for this someday.” We all have items we hold onto with this thought in mind. But in reality, the old stacks of National Geographic magazines, boxes of loose photographs, old tools, heirloom silver teapots and other memorabilia end up stashed in our garages, attics and closets without another thought given to them.
So what happens when “someday” never happens, and those stacks of items are actually more of an encumbrance than a benefit? For older adults who’ve amassed an entire life of mementos, it can feel impossible to deal with the duty of figuring out what to do with everything through the downsizing process that most older persons experience in later years.
When it comes time to sort everything, a great way to decide between what to keep, what to give away and what to throw away is to ask yourself for each item, “Does it spark joy?” This plan, in accordance with the strategy in Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” enables considerable decluttering along with an opportunity to revisit the past and come to peace with it. It can be an emotional process, but the end result is freeing.
A general change in mental attitude can make a significant difference between the drudgery of downsizing and the comfort of making sure an older adult’s home is well organized. An expression has even been created in order to replace the negative connotations of “downsizing”: “rightsizing”. It encompasses making the living environment perfectly suited for the next phase of life, and celebrating that change. It places the emphasis on cherishing those items being kept, rather than on the loss of things that may, in reality, have simply been gathering dust.
All Care is available to assist with spring cleaning and organization tasks, and can coordinate larger scale work such as removal of furniture as well as other large items. Our helpful caregivers are also on hand to share in reminiscing over beloved treasures, going through picture albums, and listening as the senior shares life stories, in addition to hands-on assistance with the “rightsizing” project itself. Call us at our Medford home care office at (541) 857-9195 or contact us online for more senior spring cleaning tips or to learn more about our wide array of senior care services.