Recently, we heard an interesting analogy that likened decluttering to taking a trip. The destination may seem miles away, but once you get there, it is restful and relaxing. Besides, trips are as much about the journey as they are the destination. In the case of decluttering, the journey is a walk down memory lane, as you sort through belongings that bring you joy, and others that don’t.
That restful, relaxing endpoint may also be safer for you or your loved one. As items pile up, it may become more challenging to undertake basic household tasks, let alone large home improvement projects. It may make it more difficult for care workers to do their job. And it may create an inhospitable environment in which to age in place.
That’s our topic of conversation today. How can the professional organizers at NEATSPACES help you, and the people you care for, create a safer living environment? If you are an older adult living alone, how can we optimize your home for physical and mental wellbeing? If you are the child of an older adult, what solutions can we offer to help you help them? And in what situations can anyone, regardless of age and ability, benefit from added security of an organized dwelling?
One primary way in which decluttering makes a home safer – regardless if it’s shared by older adults or younger families – is by reducing hazards.
As clutter builds up, so too do hazards. To start, there are fire hazards, in the form of closely packed reams of paper, electrical appliances, certain types of clothing and other flammable items. Excess clutter can also obstruct pathways out of the house in the event of a fire, blocking hallways, doorways and windows.
Secondly, clutter creates tripping hazards – a particular danger for older adults. The clearer and less constricted that rooms, pathways and stairs are, the less likely someone is to trip over a stray item.
Finally, clutter can cause mould and other issues in some situations. Though rarer than the hazards mentioned above, clutter can make it more difficult to clean a home, which, in turn, may attract mould and insects.
Preparing for a Renovation
With renovations, there is always the potential for accidents. And that potential increases when you undertake renovations in a cluttered home.
Whether you are simply painting the walls, or you’re tackling a more ambitious project like a home addition, it’s best to keep workspaces clear of physical impediments and visual distractions.
As this Houzz article points out, decluttering before a home renovation also makes sense from a wellbeing point of view. Renovations are already disruptive; you don’t want the added disruption of a cluttered home getting in your way. For help with renovation preparation, contact NEATSPACES about our home special project cleaning and organization services.
If you are downsizing your home, we can also take the reins. NEATSPACES specializes in helping seniors and young families alike, with our packing and unpacking services, decluttering, and end-to-end move management.
Aiding Personal Support Workers
Many people come to us for aid in decluttering and organizing an older parent’s home. They don’t just want to see their beloved parent live in a cleaner home (though that’s certainly a motivating factor). They also want their parent’s personal support worker to feel accommodated.
With an organized home, a personal support worker can better focus on their primary task: keeping your loved one safe and cared for. Rather than hunt for dirty dishes amid stacks of magazines, or search for clean clothes behind a tower of boxes, personal support workers can refocus their attention on the person within the home.
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Facilitating “Aging in Place”
Aging in place is a concept that has gained popularity in recent decades. It simply means: living independently as you grow older, albeit supported by a community of family, friends and helpers. It is a term you’ll often see contrasted with aging in residential care.
According to the Government of Canada, aging in place can be a way for adults to gain control over their independence, quality of life and dignity as they get older. We consider this life quality and dignity to be synonymous with security.
As mentioned, aging in place requires a circle of support – from personal support workers, shoppers, yard care specialists and snow shovelers to the home organization services we offer at NEATSPACES. A part of aging in place is being able to live in a home free of hazards and stressful mess.
Especially now, as COVID-19 continues, you may be making accommodations for yourself, or your parent, to extend their stay at home. In this case, allow us to make the home more liveable and comfortable.
Doing Away with “Mess Stress”
Safety doesn’t just apply to physical wellbeing; it also encompasses one’s mental wellbeing. Mess can be stressful for several reasons. As we’ve mentioned on this blog, psychologists point to an excess of visual stimuli to explain why clutter has a distressing effect on people. Clutter can also make you feel powerless, unable to organize other facets of your life. Finally, it can make you feel ashamed.
All of these are contributing factors to stress. Especially after the hectic and trying year we’ve all had, you may need a helping hand with organization. At NEATSPACES, we understand this all too well, which is why we offer compassionate, empathetic and professional decluttering services.
Don’t let the stress of a messy house stop you from taking action. Call us today to learn more about what we can do.
Continuing the analogy from the introduction, decluttering and home organization certainly can be like a restful, relaxing and secure trip. That being the case, let NEATSPACES be your travel guide. Our professional home organizers can plan every step of the journey so that you arrive at your destination effortlessly and comfortably. All you need to do is strap in, sit back and get excited for a clearer, cleaner home. Contact us today to get started!