As a Professional Organizer, I thoroughly enjoy seeing how organizing helps the homeowners and others. I’ve recently had the pleasure of helping an older couple declutter a home to age in place. The couple is in their 80’s, and the husband uses a wheelchair. They’ve lived in this home for the past 22 years, and would like to stay there as long as possible, but they need more space to navigate the wheelchair around the home.
Along with decades of their own personal belongings, they’ve inherited items from a few relatives. The home, which was spacious when they first retired, has become cluttered. They both have physical ailments which limit mobility making it extremely difficult to sort through items on their own.
I have been working with them in short sessions, in an on-going process of sorting, determining what items to keep, donate, sell, recycle, or throw away. We’ve all enjoyed seeing how this process can benefit others while working toward a more organized home.
Here are examples of how this couple’s organizing process has helped others:
- Giving items to family members. After finding beautiful scarves which belonged to her mother, the woman mailed these to her sister as a surprise gift.
- Giving away items to friends. The man is now unable to work with tools, so he gave an entire toolbox to a neighbor.
- Donating books to the library. The retirement community has a clubhouse library. The couple donated a dozen boxes of books, which others will enjoy reading.
- Donating movies to a local children’s home. The couple had many cartoon movies that their grandchildren had outgrown. These will now entertain a group of boys and girls at a local children’s home.
- Donating clothes to those in need. Many bags of clothing were donated to a Habitat for Humanity location. The clothing will be of great use to others.
- Donating new items to elder services. The couple found a new walker in a box in the garage. This was donated to the town’s elder services location to help another person.
If you would like to declutter and organize your home, also think about how you can help others while improving your own space.