Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 -- Organizing your home does not have to be expensive. In fact, by reducing the amount of items that you own, you may be able to get by without any purchases at all. Often, our disorganization is a result of too many things without a proper storage area. Listed below are some of the typical "problem" areas that senior move managers come across in their line of work. Wherever you decide to start your organization project, the first step will always be to assess what you actually need and use on a regular basis. All other items will be reassigned to another area of the home, or, possibly, removed (i.e. donation to friends or family, or discarded).
We all have areas of our home that seem to have a powerful magnet that attracts anything and everything that comes into the home. Typically, the basement and attic will be the recipient of these items. Sometimes it will be a spare room or closet. Contrary to popular belief, we suggest that you place your focus on the areas in which you live, rather than the "storage" areas of the home. As you begin to see the progress made, you will be encouraged to continue the process.
If you are an avid reader who has books piled in stacks on the floor, it is time to purge. Keep only those books that have a special meaning. Many public libraries participate in the book donation program known as Better World Books. You can find a location and read more on the program at https://www.betterworldbooks.com/.
Gather all papers and sort according to subject. Place appliance manuals in a binder; no more sifting through drawers to find what you need! Organize financial documents by institution and by year. Shred those that are too old (check with your financial advisor). All others can be placed in a properly labeled file.
As with financial papers, make an attempt to organize by subject and year. Toss any photographic negatives that you may have. If you believe that you have the room, place the photos in photo boxes, which are more easily stored. If you are technologically inclined, or have a family member who is, you can scan the photos onto a thumb drive, which can then be inserted into an electronic photo frame for viewing. Legacy Box is a paid service that will digitally scan your photos, videos and film. Your memories are preserved and sent to you on a thumb drive or compact disc.
Kitchen/Craft Area/Hall Closets
Clear over the door shoe organizers are not just for your shoes! Use them in the kitchen for organizing lunch making supplies, snacks or kitchen utensils. In a craft area, they are perfect for markers, small paint containers, paint brushes, tape, glue sticks, etc. Fill a shoe organizer with hats, gloves, scarves, small umbrellas -- any items that you may need as you head out for the day. This organization hack is my favorite, as it can be used in so many areas of the home!
Now, once you have your home looking spiffy and organized, do not be tempted to fill the cleaned spaces with more stuff. Take some time to enjoy your progress!
Michelle Kavanaugh is the president/CEO of Organize Senior Moves, an independently owned, locally run business that focuses on helping senior citizens who are planning to move out of their home. For more information, call (518) 528-2622 or visit OrganizeSeniorMoves.com.