“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.
However, what happens when “someday” never arrives, and those stacks of items are getting to be more of a burden than a benefit? For seniors who’ve gathered an entire life of keepsakes, it can seem impossible to deal with the duty of figuring out what to do with everything through the entire downsizing process that seniors 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 tactic, based on the strategy in Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” permits radical decluttering as well as an opportunity to revisit the past and come to peace with it. And although the process of downsizing for seniors can be difficult or even emotional, the end result is liberating.
A change in frame of mind helps make a significant difference between the drudgery of downsizing for seniors and the comfort 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”. It encompasses making the living environment perfectly suited for the next phase of life, and celebrating that change. It places the emphasis on treasuring those items being kept, instead of on the loss of items that may, in point of fact, have basically been gathering dust.
CareWorks Health Services of Orange County is available to assist with downsizing for seniors and other home organization jobs, and can coordinate larger scale work such as removing home furniture as well as other large items. Our helpful aides are also on hand to share in reminiscing over favorite treasures, going through picture albums, and listening as the senior shares life experiences, as well as hands-on help with the “rightsizing” project itself. Call us at (949) 859-4700 for assistance.