A study of older adults found that three out of ten had too much clutter in their homes. This increases the risk of falling as clutter spills into high-traffic areas. Plus, it’s distracting and can affect your emotional and mental well-being.
As she gets older, your mom has a harder time letting go of certain things. You fear that clutter is starting to take over and wonder what you can do to help her declutter and become better organized. Here are some tips on decluttering in a way that doesn’t frustrate your mom.
See If You Can Create Storage Space
Before getting rid of any of your mom’s items, look for ways to create more storage. Cube storage is one way to add storage vertically without taking up more floor space. You can fit many cube storage organizers into closets, hallways, or empty walls.
If she has space in a closet, items that don’t need to be stacked in her living room can go into the closet. If her dining room table or bench seating has storage racks, it’s a good place to store board games and puzzles.
Do One Room at a Time
Don’t overwhelm your mom with a rush of cleaning and decluttering. Take one room at a time and go at her pace. If you finish a room and she seems charged and ready to do more, keep going. If she’s tired and frustrated, stop with that room and try again another day.
Work With Her, Not Against Her
Don’t work against your mom. As you declutter, give her boxes for trash, keep, donate, and sell. If she feels that she’s in control, it will go better. If she’s hesitating with certain items, you could say you are interested in taking that home and see what happens. It’s a good indicator if she really wants it or just doesn’t like the idea of a stranger having it.
Turn It Into a Fun Family Event
If there are specific family members your mom enjoys having around and trusts their judgment, have them join you. A group clean-up goes faster, but they still need to work with your mom and listen to what she says.
Hoarding Is a Mental Condition
Clutter is one thing, but your mom may be hoarding items. That’s a mental health issue that needs to be addressed by professionals. It can also be something she experiences with Alzheimer’s. Don’t clean your mom’s home if it’s causing her mental distress.
Talk to her doctor and get a referral to a professional therapist or work with her memory care team on what to do next.
In-home care aides can help your mom keep her home clean and organized. Learn more about the different services in-home care aides offer and how much it costs by talking to an advisor.
If you or an aging loved one are considering In-Home Care in Northbrook, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.
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