The Emotional Side of De-Cluttering

seniors looking at items from box

We previously shared tips to help those who may be helping a senior loved one de-clutter their home. We focused on how to get started and shared tips for making the process go more smoothly.

Now let’s tackle the emotional side of downsizing.

Listening and Sharing Memories as You De-Clutter a Senior’s Home

As you work your way through their house, below are a few suggestions to help you and your loved one.

The first reminder we always share with families is that what looks like clutter or “junk” to you, might really be something has special meaning to your loved one. An old movie ticket stub might be to their first date.. A worn out map could be from the first family vacation you all went on.

As you work your way through each drawer or closet, give them time to share the history and meaning behind their treasures. Encourage them to share their stories and take time to really listen to them. You might even want to video some of the conversations you have together so you can maintain precious family history.

Also give some thought to how you can preserve some of the items they cherish most. You might want to create a memory box or two with smaller memorabilia that they can hang on the wall. Or you could put together a few scrapbooks they will be able to look through and enjoy for years to come.

If you aren’t quite sure how to save and store older photos, papers and cards, the National Archives has great resources to help on their website. You can review it to learn more about everything from preserving old letters to repair old photos.

We hope this helps you and your family find ways to enjoy what can sometimes be a difficult time.