By MoveSeniors.com Member, Jane Carroo, Clutter Coach Company, Chicago
The service I provide allows me the opportunity to meet and assist people during many transitions. Some of the most interesting people I work with happen to be seniors. They usually are somewhat concerned about going through all the changes that are happening either by choice or circumstances. Once they know you have their best interests at heart, they open up and share their stories and many times photos, too. What is special about these people is that they have accumulated a lifetime of experience, wisdom and possessions. Also, they love to share their knowledge.
It is very gratifying to help someone get organized or move. The knowledge that you can make a difference for someone in need makes the work meaningful. I have had the pleasure of getting to know some of the sweetest people. Some are just happy to connect with a person who cares. I do try to understand and accept them and respect their decisions. It’s difficult sometimes, but I realize that they have lifelong patterns and are not able to change them. That’s true about many of us, some are positive patterns that serve us and others get in our way.
As a Certified Professional Organizer®, I’m often asked to answer questions about what things to save and what to let go. The most important thing is to identify and preserve those items that can be passed on generation to generation.
Deciding on what to let go of, consider these steps. Collect everything that is similar; review all of it, deciding what you love and use. The rest is negotiable. If you don’t love or use it, why are you holding onto it? If it’s for that rainy day that hasn’t come in 10 years, it’s probably time to give it up. If you haven’t used something in 1-2 years, the likelihood that you will is pretty slim. What is the worst thing that could happen? Maybe buy it again, or borrow it? For some, that may be frightening enough to hold onto it. Understand that most of us use about 20% of what we own. Consider that fact when you are reviewing your items. It makes letting things go that much easier.
Another consideration is making sure that what you want to donate actually gets to places where other people can make use of it. This becomes a problem for many people. Find out what places in your area take donations. Check to see what they do with the items, some charities have resale shops and some donations go to actual participants in their programs. There are even charities that donate to the senior population. When you have the information, it can make you feel more comfortable knowing that what you gave will continue to give.
About the Author: Jane Carroo has helped hundreds of clients with organizing, simplesizing® and move management. She is the founder of Clutter Coach Company and is passionate about illuminating and simplifying the path for people in transition.
More information can be found on the website: www.cluttercoach.com.
©2011 ClutterCoach Company
Tags: caregiving, Caring For Parents, cleaning, clutter, CRTS, declutter, downsizing, help parents move, junk removal, move help, move management, move seniors, parent care, senior living communities, senior transition