Seniors Trying to Declutter: Here’s Some Much-Needed Downsizing Help!


Here’s Some Much-Needed Downsizing Help!In Iowa, most of us have areas of our homes designated as storage areas. But oftentimes those storage areas spill over into other areas of the home as increasingly more memorabilia is saved with the thought of, “I can’t get rid of this. I may want it someday.”

Yet, what happens when “someday” never happens, and those piles of things turn out to be more of a burden than a benefit? For older adults who’ve gathered an entire lifetime of keepsakes, it can feel insurmountable to undertake the job of choosing what to do with everything through the scaling back process that a lot of older people experience in later years, and often find the need for downsizing help.

One helpful tip to determine what is kept and what is either repurposed, recycled, given away or thrown away is to ask yourself for each item: “Does it spark joy?” This tactic, according to the approach in Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” permits radical decluttering as well as a chance to revisit the past and come to peace with it. It can be an emotional process, but the end result is freeing.

A change in mental attitude tends to make a big difference between the drudgery of downsizing and the convenience of making sure an older adult’s home is well organized. A term has even been coined to get rid of the negative connotations of “downsizing”: “rightsizing”. “Rightsizing” is used as a way to celebrate changes in the next life phase by making one’s living environment better suited for that phase of life. It places the focus on treasuring the things being kept, instead of on the loss of things that may, in reality, have simply been gathering dust.

Advanced Home Health Care in Iowa is available to provide downsizing help and assistance with other home organization tasks, and can coordinate larger scale work such as removal of furniture as well as other large items. Our warm and friendly caregivers are also on hand to share in reminiscing over beloved treasures, going through picture albums, and being attentive as the senior shares life memories, along with hands-on assistance with the “rightsizing” project itself. Call us at 800.791.7785 for assistance.

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