Senior Home Care Tips for Fighting Clutter

Senior Home Care Tips for Fighting Clutter

Today’s post shares some helpful tips for families trying to de-clutter their aging parents’ home, courtesy of our senior home care team in Manhattan Beach, California.

Is Clutter Really a Big Deal?

A little clutter here and there won’t stop your loved one’s healthy “aging in place,” but a little can quickly turn into a lot. And when it does, there are serious consequences.

Have you ever walked into a messy room and felt a pang of anxiety? Strong links have been established between housing quality and mental health. One study by the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that clutter and uncleanliness were strong predictors of depression (Evans et al., 2000). De-cluttering your loved one’s home isn’t the be-all and end-all for good mental health, but it certainly helps.

How many times have you tripped on some wayward clutter? The National Institute of Aging reports that 6 out of 10 serious slip-and-fall injuries happen in the home, many of which are caused by fall hazards.

Don’t forget kitchen clutter, like expired foods left in the refrigerator. In addition to being a source of bacteria and unpleasant odors, expired food may be prepared by seniors with poor vision or dementia, which could cause upset stomach, digestion issues, and other health concerns.

So while clutter-fighting isn’t the key to successful aging, it clearly plays a big part. It’s no accident that we’ve integrated clutter-fighting tasks into all of our senior home care solutions.

De-Cluttering Advice From Our Senior Home Care Specialists

The physical act of de-cluttering is simple enough. But sometimes dealing with the emotions involved with purging old keepsakes can be tricky. To encourage your loved one to take part, try the following:

  1. Compartmentalize your clutter-fighting effort. One of the most common mistakes people make is trying to de-clutter the entire home at once. Not only is that an exhausting workload, but the idea of throwing out so much of their stuff in one day can be stressful for your loved one. Instead, attack each room separately, and don’t move on until you’ve finished. Your parent will have an easier time parting with things bit by bit, and you’ll feel good about completing a task rather than leaving the whole house half-finished. Prioritize high-traffic areas and rooms that get used a lot.
  2. Take baby steps. It’s a good idea to get the ball rolling sooner than later, but some people have trouble letting go of the things they’ve accumulated. Start small–throw out some old mail and magazines, or recycle the warranties for products your parents no longer own. Some people will need to ease in more than others.
  3. Set goals to motivate your loved one. For example, you could set out to remove one garbage bag worth of clutter or fill a donation box every week. Whatever you choose, keep your goals realistic and achievable within a reasonable amount of time. Long-term goals are great, but focusing short-term progress is the key to staying motivated.

Automate Your Clutter-Fighting With Senior Home Care

Hiring a senior home care team to assist with your de-cluttering efforts can make all the difference. Not only do we help you find more time for memory-making, but leaving the de-cluttering in the hands of a senior home care avoids any of the family arguments that might erupt over what should and shouldn’t be thrown out.

Always Best Care Manhattan Beach offers a whole spectrum of senior home care services. In addition to helping with your loved one’s mobility, personal care, and social life, our senior home care team performs a variety of clutter-fighting tasks to optimize the home environment for healthy aging.

Some of Our Clutter-Fighting Services Include:

  • Supervising home maintenance
  • Organizing mail; sending bills and letters
  • Checking food expirations
  • Cleaning closets
  • General housekeeping duties, and more.

To learn more about how our senior home care team can help you create a healthy home environment, visit


Evans, G. W., Wells, N. M., Chan, H. Y. E., & Saltzman, H. (2000). Housing quality and mental health. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68(3), 526.

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