Have you ever considered that your home could be increasing your stress? Studies have found that clutter can trigger low-grade anxiety in people. It makes it harder to think, respond to others, and impacts the immune system. A tidy, organized home is one key to busting stress.
Clean One Room at a Time
When you’re organizing and decluttering your parents’ home, tackle one room at a time. Don’t try to do it all at once. If you do, you’ll end up frustrated and overwhelmed. If you clean one room at a time, you’ll be motivated each time another room is completed. That motivation keeps you going.
Work With Three Piles
As you declutter each room, you’re making three piles: keep, trash, recycle. Waste goes into trash bags. Each time you fill one, carry it outside to a dumpster or trash bin. Get to work on the next.
Don’t leave a full trash bag in the room for your parents to go through. If you do, they’ll start changing their mind. The recycle pile gets donated to others or sold in a yard sale.
The items in the keep pile need to be things your parents use. If they haven’t touched the ice cream maker in two years, they don’t need to keep it. If they’re still hesitant about donating it, come up with recipes for ice cream that don’t require an ice cream maker and convince them they don’t need it.
Make Sure Everything Has a Place
You’ve gone through your parents’ belongings and still don’t have room for the items they wanted to keep. Now what? You may need to reconsider the storage in the home. In a small kitchen, storage is hard to come by, but the wall over the refrigerator is empty. You could install a small cabinet over the fridge and add more storage space.
Your dad’s drawers in the dresser are crowded. Consider putting in a cube storage container in the closet and adding baskets. He can store some of his items in those baskets. Smaller items like socks and underwear are perfect for storage baskets.
Once you have your parents’ house organized, you want to make sure it stays that way. Call a home care agency and arrange caregivers for cleaning and household chores. Companion care at home can vacuum, put items away, and dust. Plus, you can have them help with laundry and make sure your parents’ clothes go into the designated drawer or closet after everything is folded.