It is normal for senior citizens to want to hold on to all of their belongings. This does not automatically make them pack rats; it just means that they hold on dearly to their belongings. Many of the items have sentimental value, especially if there is a spouse that has passed away, making it difficult to get rid of anything. If you provide senior care, there are ways to make de-cluttering less stressful.
- One thing at a time – Take one drawer, cabinet or area of a closet at a time. The clutter didn’t happen overnight and will not disappear overnight. The slower you go, the less stress it will put on the senior citizen, making it easier to get rid of many things over time. It won’t seem like such a drastic change when it is done gradually.
- Keep a few items – There are going to be collections, such as clothing of a deceased loved one or a special collection that they owned that are going to be very difficult to get rid of. Rather than suggesting that they get rid of the entire collection, ask them to choose their few favorite things from that collection and try to get rid of the rest.
- Find a place for everything – Everything that the senior insists on keeping, try to find an organized place for it. Big box retail stores offer a large variety of organizational items including inexpensive bins that stack on top of one another that are great for organizing what used to be clutter, making it look more organized.
Working with a senior citizen that loves all of their belongings can be very difficult. As their caregivers, you can guide them into slowly ridding their home of the clutter and learning to live an organized life.