Clearing Clutter Helps Caregivers
You’ve got stuff, right? Lots of stuff in closets, drawers, the attic and the garage,.. right? And you’ve got stuff in places that you’ve completely forgotten. Clearing clutter will help you save time and be more organized.
I remember visiting the garage sale of an elderly couple who had lots of bottles of shampoo, at least 100 half-empty bottles of shampoo. These bottles were stacked on top of every table surface in the living room during their garage sale. The sight was a little surprising. The place was sticky with shampoo! It was past time to clear out this stuff!
How does one accumulate 100 half-empty bottles of shampoo? By not using it up and throwing the empty bottle away afterwards. They couldn’t sell it in the garage sale, they said. I suggested giving the bottles away to a homeless shelter. At least someone could benefit from all that shampoo. And they could certainly benefit from getting it out of the living room.
Family Members’ Hoarding Habits
Caregivers sometimes have to exert some influence to limit their family members’ hoarding habits and to overcome obstacles to organization in the home. Clearing clutter of the old stuff that you don’t need will give you more space for what you do need. Clearing that stuff will help you keep the house clean and better organized. It frees up some time and space, and a caregiver needs both of these.
Common-sense tells you to use up what you have before you buy another bottle. Try not to store what you don’t need and will never use, and don’t really value. There are people in need, so why not share your surplus stuff with them?
This is a great time for clearing clutter of the surplus that you have, and share it with those who do need it. You will then have less crowded drawers, closets, attics and garages. Caregivers, point out to your care-receiver the great advantage of having a little extra unoccupied space at home. You can then manage your stuff, instead of having your stuff take over your home. You can do it!
Clutter You Should Clear
Here is just a sampling of the stuff and clutter you could clear!
Do you have a lot of extra fabric, fabric pieces, thread or yarn? Many places can use fabric, such as art programs at schools, craft programs for children and seniors, quilting and sewing clubs, and church groups who sew for charity and relief projects. Find one of these in your area by looking at the forum on Thrifty Fun.
Do you have more bottles of household cleaning chemicals, liquids and sprays than you can use? Don’t just dump the chemicals down the toilet. Some chemicals are dangerous to combine, because the vapors are dangerous or the combination can cause a fire. Check to see if your local Red Cross or the emergency shelter program of your city could use some of these cleaning chemicals to donate to families who are cleaning up after a fire or storm. An animal shelter may also be able to use them for cleaning animal cages.
Got extra sheets and blankets that don’t fit your beds or that are old? If they are clean and usable, donate them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. If they are worn and have holes, then wash them and donate them to an animal shelter for bedding.
Got extra pots and pans, and serving dishes? How about furniture, like beds and mattresses? There are families who need them. Operation Homefront, which serves military families by providing household items, might be near your area. Or, contact the nearest Salvation Army store, Goodwill store or the local Society of St. Vincent De Paul store about the donation. The store might even send out a truck to your home when donating a large item.
What about the clutter in your garage? Gardening tools, fertilizer, mulch, plastic pots for plants etc., can find a new home with a local garden club, a Master Gardener and Junior Gardener organization through your local Extension Service. Or, now many day care centers and schools have a shared garden space the children tend. A local high school may have a horticulture program which could use those things.
So, think about clearing clutter and who might like to have your surplus. Don’t just let that stuff sit there! Clear that clutter! Make the phone calls and arrange for that stuff to be picked up and taken to people who will really appreciate it and put it to good use.
Enjoy a little more clutter-free space at home!