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Scaling Down for a Fresh Start: Decluttering for Seniors

by Jessica Hegg January 04, 2024 0 Comments

Elderly woman decluttering room

If you’re looking for a change of scenery in your home, don’t need to move or buy new furniture. You don’t need to spend any money at all! By scaling down and decluttering, you can make your home feel like a fresh start, while also simplifying daily tasks and giving yourself some piece of mind. It’s especially important for seniors, who’ve had a few extra decades to accumulate odds and ends.

Learn more about how decluttering is the right choice for seniors, and how to start decluttering your home today.

How Decluttering Helps Seniors

There’s no doubt that decluttering can have a positive impact on the way you live, but if you need extra motivation to get started, take a look at these benefits.

Simplify Your Life

Cluttered houses are no fun at all to live in, making everyday tasks that much more difficult as you struggle to find room to move freely. Plus, having more possessions means more to clean and keep organized, adding extra hassle to your life. By making a sparser and cleaner living environment, you can fully enjoy each hour of each day.

Lower Your Risk of Injury

As we age, the risks that come with falling only increase. That’s why it’s always a good idea to make sure there aren’t objects cluttering your floor to trip you. In many cases, these are things like extension cords, shoes, and unnecessary rugs. You’ll be surprised by how much safer your home will be once you clear them out. Learn more ways to improve home safety here.

If you’re worried about falls in the bedroom, try a bedside fall mat.

Feel a Sense of Control Over Your Space

You don’t have to think of decluttering as losing something. Instead, see it as a way to add a personal touch to your home. Guests always appreciate having a clear space to sit and set down a cup of coffee and keeping the space in front of windows clear will help you enjoy the view. Soon, people will be talking about what a pleasant place your living room is for a quiet chat.

Make Your Favorite Items Stand Out

Nobody says decluttering means parting with your favorite possessions. In fact, by clearing unnecessary clutter out of your home, you can draw more attention to what matters. By keeping just two or three special items on a shelf, you’ll find yourself appreciating them even more than you used to.

More Decorating Tips for Seniors

Kicking Off Your Decluttering Process

The hardest part of downsizing is knowing where to start. Until you’ve established a bit of comfort with the process, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. If this sounds like you, take a look at this step-by-step guide.

1. Get Organized

Before you take a single thing off your shelf, it’s important to take inventory of the task. Which rooms need the most work? Are there any particular areas you’ll need help with? How many rooms total do you need to declutter?

2. Rehome and Repurpose

Before throwing anything out, it can be a good idea to get in touch with friends, family, and neighbors to see if they’d like any of your old possessions. You’ll find it's often easier to part with items if you know they’re going to a good home.

3. Make a Schedule

After you’ve given away a few things, it may be easier to get started with the rest of the decluttering process. It doesn’t have to be ambitions. Even if you’re only able to clear out one closet in two weeks, you’re still making progress toward your goal. A schedule will keep you accountable, and make it harder to give up or get off track.

4. Get the Help You Need

As you work through your schedule, you may find you need help moving heavy items or uninstalling certain appliances. In these cases, don’t hesitate to contact friends or family members who can lend a hand. If necessary, you can also get in touch with professional movers or other professionals to get the job done.

Check out our full guide on home safety for seniors here.

Tips on Continuing Your Decluttering Journey

Above all else, don’t forget that decluttering is a process. Even if you’re not able to accomplish all your goals according to your timeline, you can always make a bit more progress. Take a look at these tips for ways to make your house as uncluttered as you’ve always wanted.

  • Start Small

    When crafting your personalized decluttering plan, make sure to set realistic goals and pace yourself. It might sound nice to say you’re going to clean your entire house in a month, but it’s only a good goal if you think you can achieve it. Instead, start with small steps and more manageable goals that you can fit into your schedule.

  • Prioritize

    You can still feel the impact of your efforts, even if you're setting small goals. The key is to focus on the areas and items in your home that are most important to you. Living rooms, kitchens, and other frequented areas can be good option. You can also start by focusing on items in your home that are a particular hassle, like clothing or books.

  • Learn to Spot Hazardous Items

    At the top of your priority list when decluttering are objects that pose a safety hazard in your everyday life, especially tripping or fall hazards. Old rugs can slide and create a tripping hazard, as can loose cords and wires. Old or broken chairs should be replaced, and broken items you don’t plan on repairing should be tossed. You can also look in your refrigerator for expired food, or in your medicine cabinet for old medications.

    Learn More About Minimizing Risk Inside Your Home

  • Organize

    If you have trouble choosing what to get rid of, it can help to organize your possessions into piles. Choose a specific focus, like a clothing rack or a bookshelf, and begin taking out items and putting them in three piles: Toss, donate, and keep. By working quickly, and putting items in their respective piles, you can quickly clear out one area of your home at a time, without getting lost or distracted.

  • Consider Storage Solutions

    Sometimes, decluttering isn’t about getting rid of objects at all. You’d be surprised how much space you can save by storing items efficiently. If you have space under your bed, try buying a few plastic containers to store less frequently used items. For important documents, try a small filing system so you can find what you need easily. There are storage solutions made for any item or space, so don’t hesitate to look and see what’s available.

  • Try the 90-Day Test

    If you have a hard time letting your possessions go, the 90-day test can be just the thing you need. It’s perfect for on-the-fence items that you don’t use often, but you’re not sure you’re ready to part with. Simply put the object in an out-of-the-way place, like a storage bin along with a note that marks the date. If you use it at least once in the next 90 days, keep it. If not, it’s time to toss.

Simple Steps to Make Decluttering Easy for Seniors

Don’t forget that decluttering is a process. While your home might not look perfect after a week or even a month, remember that every little bit of progress makes a difference. By focusing your efforts and going at your own pace, you gradually chip away at the task and transform your home over time.

Jessica Hegg
Jessica Hegg

Jessica Hegg is the content manager and at With vast product knowledge and understanding of individual needs, she aims to share valuable information on making smart buying choices, overcoming obstacles and overall improving the quality of life for others. Avid gym-rat and nutrition enthusiast, she’s interested in all things related to staying active and living healthy lifestyle.

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