Downsizing Tips For Seniors

5 Creative Downsizing Tips for Seniors

For seniors who are ready to downsize, there are many options available. Perhaps you are moving from a house to a smaller home or apartment, or to a retirement community instead. Whichever you choose, the transition will involve paring down belongings to accommodate a smaller physical space. To make the process easier in retirement, here are five creative strategies.

1. Only Create Two Piles: Yes or No

As you go through household items, the number of memories that will crop up will likely be many. It might be tempting to create a “maybe” pile!

But a more effective strategy for reducing the number of items is to stick to only two piles. One is “yes” (keep), and one is “no” (toss, recycle, or give away).

As you pick up each item, ask yourself if you have used it within the past year. If not, why would you pack it up to take to the new residence?

2. Invite Family Members Over

Rather than going it alone, consider inviting kids and grandchildren over to help you with the packing process. Not only can having more people around help you feel supported during this life transition, but you will also have bonding time.

While they are there, share some of the stories behind your favorite mementos. This loving atmosphere is a wonderful way to spend the days leading up to the move.

3. Take Photos of Keepsakes

If you have large collections of figurines or something else, they will take up valuable space in your smaller residence and likely stay in boxes there. You still want to hold onto the associated memories but simply won’t have the storage room. What to do?

The creative solution is to keep some and take photographs of the rest, rather than keeping them all. Then, print out the pics and create a photo book to look through every time you want to remember the good times associated with the possessions.

Box up your photos

4. Use Clear Bags

If you plan to store items in bags, use clear ones temporarily. The concept here is, well, transparent (excuse the pun!).

Choosing clear rather than black trash bags allows you to see what is in each one immediately. Otherwise, it’s a guessing game, and you might accidentally toss the wrong one.

5. Hire a Professional

Enlisting the help of an expert organizer can save you a lot of stress while downsizing. Rest assured that ClutterBGone involves you in all plans and decisions, only moving forward with your approval.

We work around your schedule and lifestyle, and we can help you unbox after moving day in addition to before it. Finally, our friendly organizer can help you bring touches of home to the new place so that you can still enjoy the beloved memories made over the years.

Conclusion on Downsizing

Deciding what to keep can be difficult, no matter your age. But the time you take to do so can help make moving to a smaller place or seniors’ community easier as stress-inducing clutter won’t surround you.

organizing for new baby

How to Organize Your Home for a New Baby

Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your baby! If you’re wondering how to prep the home for the little one’s arrival, the tips below are for you. By putting in the effort now, you can settle in easier with a newborn at home.

Create Stations Around the House

This is an exciting time but also a chaotic one! The last thing you want to have to do is go to the other end of the house to get diapers or a bottle when your cutie is crying in your arms.

To make your life easier, set up stations around the house for feeding and changing. For example, consider keeping diapers in more places than just the nursery. You might also have stacks in the bedroom and living room, for example. Add wipes and other essentials at each station.

To keep these areas tidy, put the must-haves into bins or baskets. Not only will these storage containers help you keep stuff together, but they will also look attractive.

Get the Needed Supplies – and Plenty of Them

Heading to the store for things you need will be more challenging once the baby arrives than it was before. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a lot of necessities for the new baby and you, so make sure you stock up on those things now.

Buying a big box of diapers, for example, makes more sense than a smaller one. Also, try to store extras in bins to keep them organized and easy to find when you require them down the road.

organizing home for new baby

Declutter to Make Space for the Baby

Now that you have the items to meet the newborn’s needs, you’ll have to find the space to store them. Even in a small place or if you don’t have a designated nursery, we can still help you do so by getting creative with storage solutions.

An upcoming baby also has a way of shifting parents’ priorities, so you might find that certain things that seemed critical before are now easier to part with. Finding more space is possible by adding shelves to walls, closet organizers, and more.

In addition to clearing drawers and closet space for the baby’s things, also create room in the kitchen. Larger drawers in the kitchen area are great for storing breastfeeding supplies or formula and then more solid foods for them in the future. Choose low drawers so that your little one can reach their snacks when they get old enough to walk.

Sort Their Clothes by Size

It’s probably a fair assumption to say that you have quite a few baby clothes by now. To save time and energy weeding through piles to find something for the newborn to wear each day, organize them based on size before the baby gets here.

The smallest ones will go in the dresser for easy access, while the larger ones can go into totes for use later. Be sure to label each bag so that you know the size as babies grow quickly!

As the due date approaches, reach out to us for additional organizational tips to suit your unique home and preferences. We can also help you maintain storage systems after the baby’s arrival. We are wishing your family much happiness!

time to hire a professional organizer

When Is It Time to Hire a Professional Organizer?

If you’re not sure when is a good time to bring in a professional organizer, this guide is for you! This expert understands how to banish clutter and create organizational systems that improve your home and your daily life. Here are times it makes sense to reach out to an organizing pro.

You’re Moving

Working with an organizer before and after a move can make the process a much smoother one and save you time. Before the move, the pro can help you sort through possessions to determine what to keep or donate. ClutterBGone will even arrange the donations with your preferred non-profit organization if you want us to do so.

After the move, one of our experts can assist you with unpacking and finding the best places to put your belongings in the new home. We can also set up organizational systems to maximize your space from day one.

A Major Life Transition

Having a baby, a career change, marriage, divorce, and aging parents are examples of big life events. When there is a major shift in your daily life, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed, and maintaining your home is likely a low priority.

Our friendly organizing expert can reduce your stress by setting up your home to meet the new demands. For example, we can organize a nursery with you before the baby arrives, help you create a fresh space after a divorce or clear clutter that puts your senior parent at risk.

time to hire a professional organizer

You Can’t Stand a Certain Area Anymore

If one space in your home never seems to get clean and tidy, you might feel at your wits’ end. When you’re not sure where to turn, consider hiring a professional organizer.

Our ClutterBGone organizers love a challenge and have innovative strategies to clear even the toughest spaces. We are here to help you tackle a closet, room, garage, or another area to turn it from cluttered to incredibly useful.

You Want More Efficiency

Are you constantly looking for things in the kitchen or home office? Do you feel like there are better ways to organize things?

If so, a pro can come in to organize the area to make it easy to find what you need when you need it. That can save you valuable time and reduce daily stress as you’ll know exactly where things are at home.

There Never Seems to Be Time

If you can never seem to find the time to declutter, hiring an organizer makes sense as this individual holds you accountable to the task. Plus, putting money toward a goal using this person’s services tends to make you value it more.

The expert will also help you finish the project in less time than if you did it alone. It is beneficial to have another person listen, guide, and support you in this process, especially when they do this for a living!

Getting the Help that You Need

Do you identify with any of these scenarios? If so, reach out to us at ClutterBGone to finally get a handle on home organization. We eliminate the stress by helping you remove clutter and create organizing systems that are beneficial and easy to both use and maintain.

Closet Organizing

Small Closet, Lots of Clothes: What to Do?

When your bedroom closet is smaller than you would like and packed with clothes, how do you organize it? Here is a more affordable solution if you don’t want to knock down walls to expand it.

Declutter the Closet

The main thing is to declutter the space. This time is well spent as it will have many benefits, including a more attractive-looking area where it is easy to find what you want to wear.

Imagine not having to sift through stacks of clothes to find a shirt in the morning! You will also have more room, which makes the closet appear bigger because you will have less items in the end.

organizing clothes closet

Decide What to Toss and Keep

This part is the most difficult one in the process for most people. It’s natural to form emotional connections with many things in the closet. For example, you might hold onto a sweater because it reminds you of a special day.

Our professional organizer makes it easier by bringing objectivity to the process. We never push and go at a pace that is comfortable for you, whether we are there in-person or virtually.

The goal here is to donate or sell the clothes that taking up room in the closet that you don’t wear anymore. They are taking up valuable space in the small closet.

Storage Solutions

Storage containers and baskets help organize a space and combat clutter. Plus, the area looks more visually-appealing afterward as an extension of the bedroom.

Another suggestion is to pack away clothes from other seasons as you won’t be wearing them right now. Choose totes that fit easily under the bed, in a crawlspace, or attic so that they are out of sight until you want them again.

We are happy to suggest storage systems that we find have worked well with clients in the past. We can also help you maintain the closet by giving you tips for after we leave or returning after a certain number of months.

Other Organizational Tips

You might also want to add shelving or install a pre-made closet organizer. Extender rods are also useful for creating more hanging space easily, as are wall hooks.

If you choose these additions, we can help you set them up and suggest how best to put your clothes in them. How much we help is up to you; we are here to support you in the process!

Finally, look at what is in the bedroom closet. Do you use it to store things other than clothes and accessories? If so, it is time to give those miscellaneous things a new place within the home.

For example, holiday decor could go into the closet in the spare room. Bulky coats could go into the hallway closet.

Creating a More Useful Bedroom Closet

As you go into this closet at least once a day, it’s important to make it a space that you like rather than one that you loathe. As it is relatively small, you must make conscious decisions about what to keep in it.

Our professional organizer understands the process and makes it easier to declutter a closet or another part of your home. Call us today to learn more.

professional home organizer

Top Tips and Tricks from a Professional Organizer

If your home feels cluttered, who better to provide the tips and tricks to banish it than a professional organizer? Our team of organizers uses methods based on what has worked for previous clients, and here are the top strategies:

Know what Organizing Is and What It’s Not

Organizing is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but there are many different ideas when it comes to defining it. Our team believes that organizing involves more than just tossing paring down the number of possessions, although that certainly is important.

Decluttering is also an emotional process and helps you see clearer what you want to get from an area. When you go through items in a closet, for example, it is a journey into the past. The space that you have at the end of it, after sorting and removing items, leaves room for what you need and want.

Put Limits on Items to Prevent Overbuying

This tip refers to limiting the number of items in a certain category, such as sweaters, that you possess. By putting a number on it or saying that you won’t have more than can fit in a particular bedroom drawer, you hold yourself accountable to only buying a certain number of sweaters (or any other item).

Another idea is to impose a rule whereby you only buy a new sweater when you get rid of one. That way you always must be conscious of what you have in the house. Not only will your home be less prone to clutter, but you will likely also save money by not overspending.

home space with purpose

Give Purpose to the Spaces in Your Home

A great way to look at organizing is as assigning purpose to rooms and creating zones within them. This makes more sense than simply trying to get as few things as possible because empty spaces can quickly fill with clutter.

Begin by giving each room a purpose. If different family members use the room for different purposes, that can start to make it disorganized and cluttered.

Ask yourself what works and what doesn’t with the current space. You want each space to work well for you, with the items you frequently need within easy reach, so they are not hard to grab or put back.

Ideally, you will store specific things in specific places so that everyone in the household knows where to find them. Then, everyone is also more likely to return them to the same places after use.

Give Away Donations Right Away

Once you’ve sorted through your home and decided what to donate, you’ll want to take them to the non-profit organization as soon as possible. That is because you might otherwise be tempted to put things back in the house.

While you created a donation pile of things you no longer need, they obviously appealed to you at some point, or you wouldn’t have bought them, to begin with. So, take them to the charity so that someone else can start to enjoy the items.

We are happy to share other tips when our professional organizer meets you virtually or in-person. Whether you want to de-clutter around the home or at work, we have strategies to help you.

organizing for dementia

Organizing the Home for People with Dementia

Caring for someone with dementia in the home is likely to be more challenging when there is clutter. Find out why, and how to organize the residence to help your loved one using this guide.

The Problems with Clutter

Being surrounded by an abundance of possessions is overwhelming for most people, but often even more so for those who have dementia. Too much stimuli can make focusing on a task difficult and remembering the sequence of activities.

Furthermore, clutter makes finding an item more difficult. Not only is that frustrating, but it also adds more confusion to the loved one’s mental state.

Living areas can become unsafe too when several things occupy a space. It can become a health risk over time, especially for those with dementia who begin hoarding to achieve a sense of control.

organize for dementia

How to Address Clutter

Your loved one likely has an emotional connection with the clutter. They may not be able to distinguish between what to keep and what to toss. For example, they might assign a high value to something like an empty cardboard box.

Thus, decluttering can be extremely upsetting for the individual. Our organizers understand this point well and, therefore, our focus is on clearing away what compromises the person’s safety or health. For instance, removing items close to the stove that pose a fire hazard and throwing out spoiled food in the fridge.

We can also facilitate the process of removing clutter from home as soon as possible. Otherwise, someone with dementia is likely to rummage through the garbage and bring back items into the house.

If they like sorting items, we can help them fulfill their need to be productive. One example is sorting a drawer full of socks.

More Organizational Tips

For those things that the person with dementia is likely to misplace, consider getting extras of them. Reading glasses are a common example.

Also, we suggest clearing possessions from places in the home that are tripping hazards. Stairs, the living room, and the hallway are areas where the person likely spends a lot of time. Thus, removing items from the floors in these areas is important.

Our friendly organizer can help you move furniture from these places to other parts of the house where they will not compromise safety. We can also help with identifying and removing hiding spots if your loved ones are hoarding.

Supporting People with Dementia

Whenever helping with organizing the home of someone with dementia, we always keep in mind their lifestyle, habits, and abilities. We use visualization tools to help your loved one stay organized too after we leave.

That means that the items that remain in the house are in clear view of the person living there. We can assist with labeling the possessions, too, so that locating them is not an issue.

They might not want things like family heirlooms stored away. In this case, we can help you find places where they are still easy for the individual to see them at home.

Find out more about our services specifically for those with dementia by reaching out to us today.

clutter triggers stress

Does Your Clutter Trigger Stress? Here’s What To Do About It

Do you look around the house and wonder what happened to the space and order that was once there? If so, the clutter you see day after day can feel overwhelming and be a significant source of stress. In this case, it’s time to declutter the home.

Why Clutter is Stressful

When you have excess possessions, why exactly does it put you on edge? A big reason why is that just looking at all those things reminds you of the future project to do to sort through it. That weighs on your mind amidst an already-busy day.

That type of environment is tense rather than serene. Clutter, therefore, makes relaxing at home more difficult.

Not only that, but it is also likely difficult to find things when you really need them. Looking for something last minute and being unsure where it is in the home is stressful.

Finally, being in a residence that is not orderly can make surprise visits a source of embarrassment. You may feel guilt that you have not organized the space better yet and stress after the guests leave that they will judge you for the mess.

clutter triggers stress

Finding Remedies that Work Well for You

Knowing how clutter triggers stress helps light a fire under you about how to help remedy the situation. The best solution will depend on which room you are focusing on, the extent of the clutter, your lifestyle, and other factors.

If the clutter has spread across the house, for example, choose a specific room to start and involve everyone in the household in improving it. Assign each person an area in the room to declutter or, if you live alone, begin in one area and finish it before moving onto the next. That way, you will not feel overwhelmed by the project because you are taking small steps to complete it.

The process also involves deciding what to keep and what to toss or donate. Our professional organizers help make this step easier by asking you questions to determine if it’s something you need, want, or use. If none of those three things applies to the item, then toss, recycle, donate, or sell it.

The sorting process can be an emotional one if many of the possessions evoke memories. Our organizer helps you make decisions that clear the clutter using a supportive, non-judgmental approach.

When Clutter Interferes with Daily Life

If clutter is stressing you out at home, you might find you have less energy and motivation. That can negatively affect your relationships, as well as your work performance.

You might also find yourself coping with the situation in an unhealthy way. Overeating is one example.

Rather than reducing your quality of life and living in a continual state of stress, reach out to our friendly team for guidance. We have exclusive tips for clearing away messes and organizing the home.

Decluttering is what we specialize in, and we look forward to helping you. You don’t have to let physical clutter get the better of your mental health, and you don’t have to tackle it alone.

declutter to sell your home

Declutter to Sell Your Home Fast Using These Tips

Before putting your house on the market, consider these suggestions from our professional organizers to declutter the interior. Doing so can sell your place quicker by attracting more potential buyers as the living area appears larger. Remember that house hunters check every inch of the living space, so it’s crucial that you go from room to room, clearing away the clutter.

Where to Start

The hallway is an excellent place to start as it is usually a small space that gets overwhelmed with things. By clearing away excess items, this space quickly looks larger and more inviting.

It is also one of the first places people see so it’s important to make a great impression. If there is a closet, tidy the coats, putting aside those you no longer wear to sell or donate.

Remove items that out of season too, such as snow boots in the summer. Put them into boxes and storing them out of sight, such as beneath the bed.

declutter to sell

In the Living Room

An important room to declutter is the living room, as that is where the next homeowner will likely spend most of their time. Look at what furniture is needed and what can be moved to another room to open it up.

Consider donating an extra chair or table to a charity if it’s just taking up space. Not only will you help someone in need but also bring attention to attractive features of the room, such as picture windows.

Kitchen Clear-Out

The kitchen is another place that buyers will look at in detail to assess if it fits what they are looking for. Start by clearing all items off the countertop, if possible. A spacious counter is a great selling feature.

Putting away appliances and paring them down to only those you use will also give the kitchen a cleaner and more inviting appearance. The time it takes to do so is worth it as serious house hunters want to be able to envision themselves in the space.

Organize Cupboards and Drawers

Of course, putting away appliances once kept on the kitchen counter into cupboards means that you will need to make space there for them. Start by donating or selling any duplicates and then move on to discarding broken items.

Then, do the same for drawers, both in the kitchen and in other rooms. From there, you can see if friends or family might be able to use items that you no longer use or any single-use appliances that are collecting dust.

Clothes Closets

Be sure to declutter your wardrobe before putting the home up for sale too. A closet that is brimming with items looks small and messy.

Instead, present it in the best light to potential buyers by removing pieces that you do not wear anymore. Also, put off-season garments into storage boxes. Choose nice-looking boxes or bins if they are going to be in plain sight in the closet. Don’t forget to declutter what’s hanging on the back of the bedroom door too.

Final Words

Whether you have a small home or a bigger one, it’s easy to accumulate clutter. Our friendly experts are here to help you remove clutter and organize rooms to make better use of the space to sell your home faster.

Home Organizing For Seniors

Easy Home Organizing Strategies for Seniors

Decluttering is something that many seniors do as they downsize in their retirement years. With more limited living space than before, paring down is important, but it can be incredibly challenging for those who have health issues later in life. The tips below help make organizing the home easier for older adults and loved ones who are helping them.

Start with the Living Room

For most seniors, the living room is where they spend most of their time, so it naturally accumulates clutter over time. It is a place for social visits with family and friends, as well as seeing any healthcare workers.

Having too many things in this area can be a safety hazard for the elderly who risk tripping over items. A cluttered room is also difficult to maneuver around for those who have a walker, cane, and wheelchair.

Thus, it makes sense to start in this room, organizing it to be more functional, safe, and visually appealing.

Take Items off the Floor

Keeping in mind the importance of a safer living space, remove as many things from the floor as possible. That includes excess furniture in addition to papers, rugs, and knickknacks.

A great way to achieve this goal is to use multifunctional furniture. For example, a popular coffee table design is one with a top that lifts to reveal a hidden storage area.

Identify which furniture and other possessions to keep and which ones to sell or donate. Another option is to move some furnishings from the living room to a less-frequently used area in the home.

Continuing with the topic of removing tripping hazards, make sure to pick up cables that are loose on the ground. Organize cables for the computer, TV, and more so that older adults might otherwise fall over and cause injury.

Home Organizing For Seniors

Tips for Organizing the Kitchen

Keeping the kitchen well-organized is also important to protect aging adults from the risk of illnesses due to expired or unsafe foods. One of the top tips in this room is to clean the fridge and freezer regularly.

Along with tossing expired items, wipe down the shelves and drawers with a gentle cleanser. Doing so will remove the chances of bacteria or mold growing in the appliance and get rid of crumbs and other food particles.

For seniors who cannot do so easily, this task is one that loved ones can help with. Alternatively, our professionals are happy to do so. We can also provide insights on how best to organize different foods and condiments in the fridge and freezer for fast access.

Finally, ensure that important things are within close reach in the kitchen. That will prevent older adults from reaching for items, which can be dangerous, or impossible for those in wheelchairs. When going through items in cupboards, discard anything that is broken as it takes up valuable space and could have sharp edges that are potential safety hazards.

Concluding Words

Paring down can be difficult for people of all ages, including seniors who have accumulated items over the lifespan. Our professional organizers gently ask questions that help older adults decide what to keep and what to donate or sell to make organizing easier.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and never pressure or judge. Reach out to us today to find out more about how to better organize the home for a safer, more comfortable environment.

Decluttering in winter

Decluttering to Beat the Winter Blahs Starts… Now!

If you need a boost during this time of the year, you’re not alone. The cold, dark days of winters can leave many people feeling “blah” as they stretch on seemingly forever. Along with bundling up and getting outdoors for some light exercise, another way to boost your mood is decluttering around the house.

A Fast Start

So many of us are stuck indoors most days during the pandemic, which may make the winter blahs worse than other years. But a positive way to look at it is that you’re already there, likely working from home, so tackling clutter is something you can start to do today.

The next question is, “Where to begin?”

Focus on the Area that Stresses You

Is there a particular spot in the home that you get annoyed just thinking about, let alone looking at it? Maybe it’s the messy top kitchen drawer that has been accumulating random things for months or the overflowing bedroom closet.

The stress and anxiety that comes from this clutter are no doubt contributing to your winter blahs. That’s especially true if it’s in plain sight every day.

When you clear away the mess and organize the space, you will likely feel a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction. Also, staying busy can help combat feelings of overwhelm and tiredness.

Be sure to focus on only decluttering one small area at a time, though. Otherwise, you might find the project feels like too much. In this situation, you’re unlikely to finish it because you quickly feel defeated and give up.

After completing the small project, take a moment to reflect on a job well done before moving onto the next one. This positive thought process can counteract winter doldrums.

clean windows in winter

Clean the Windows

Finally, pull back the curtains and clean the windows in the area you’ve been decluttering; then do the same in other rooms at home. Doing so can help welcome in light and refresh the living space.

Maximizing the amount of natural light inside the house can go far toward improving your mood. Plus, looking out clean windows rather dirty ones helps the home look better. Enjoy the view too on those days when you don’t have the time to get outdoors!

Clutter Happens: Be Kind to Yourself

For most people, accumulating clutter happens gradually over time without barely noticing it. But when it gets to the point that looking at the mess brings down your mood, it’s time to make a change.

It’s important, though, that you’re not too hard on yourself when it comes to making improvements around the home. Recognize that most people have at least one area in their house that has clutter. It also takes time to clear it away, and sorting possessions doesn’t come easy for everyone.

Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. One of our professional organizers can help you start to declutter your home virtually, or in-person when it is safe to do so.

Start to feel productive as you clear clutter and find places to store things that make sense. Your winter blahs are going, going, gone!