Organizing the Home to Age In Place

 Posted by Leigh DeVoe on September 13, 2019 at 7:20 AM

 

If you’ve decided to remain in your own home for the later years of your life planning to organize your home to be more functional is essential. Getting organized has both physical and mental benefits to healthy aging. An organized home is linked to boosted mental clarity, lower stress levels, and lower risk of injury. Each of these benefits can extend quality of life now and in the long run. 

Getting organized can become simple with a plan in place that allows you to find the items you use most quickly and easily. The steps below can help you organize your home for years to come.

 

 

Begin the process by clearing clutter.

It’s easy to cling to clutter longer than necessary. Most households acquire a host of cherished and treasured items over time that are connected to fond memories. Eventually, you may find yourself surrounded by more possessions than you can handle if your mobility or health changes. Decluttering can reduce the level of upkeep and maintenance of your home from challenging to manageable.

 

Keep high use items in a convenient place.

All of us take comfort in very specific items. It could be a favorite blanket, a coffee mug, a cozy sweater. Whatever “it” is, the best way for a senior to enjoy it is in a handy way that does not require a constant search to use it. This means making the most used areas of the home a priority for decluttering and organizing, while choosing clear dedicated spaces for the items we love and use most. The more convenient the placement the better.

 

Make important items easily accessible.

As we age, it may become more difficult to climb stairs, reach for an item, or bend and crouch down. Placing important items in conveniently organized spaces can make it simpler to access an item when it’s needed. Industry expert Sabrina Quairoli suggests placing stored items between waist and upper thigh height. This can be especially helpful with medications. It’s important to clear out expired medications and irrelevant prescriptions.

 

Use multipurpose storage options that are easily accessible.

One of the first steps in getting organized is making sure every item has a designated place. Without a place for each item to go, clutter can easily be compiled and cause complications. More than likely some of the items cluttering your home like baskets, photo frames, or serving carts could be repurposed to create extra storage. In closets and cabinets, pulldown shelving can be mounted to bring hard to reach shelves to your level.

 

Sort and store bills and important documents in a secure designated place.

Pulling financial information together is essential to tracking income, bills, and payments. Keeping pertinent information, paperwork, and records well organized and readily available, is the key to simplifying and addressing daily tasks efficiently. Experts at AARP recommend sorting items according to “documents, paid and unpaid bills, receipts, brokerage, pension and Social Security statements, medical expenses, contracts.” Then sort official records legal and health documents. After sorting the items, consider placing the documents in categorized binder or folders or creating electronic versions of important items.

 

Creating a home that is organized and clutter free is the best way to start your age in place journey. Clearing clutter creates a hazard free home conducive for daily life. Getting organized before it becomes a necessity will give you peace of mind.

 


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