Posted in aging in place, caregiver, Closet Organization, Elder Care, Senior Services

Aging In Place Organization – Part 2

Aging in Place

Aging in place can be one of the best options for anyone who really loves their home and community, and who doesn’t want to live out their last years in a nursing home or assisted living facility. As it happens, if you don’t want to leave your home and you’d rather age in place, there are more options today than ever before. You can rearrange things and retrofit some others and create a home you can get around in easily, even if you live alone.

This Area of the Home Often Gets Overlooked

 It happens for two reasons: First, this area of the home is tucked away from sight most of the time. Second, this area is actually several areas, spread all through the house. What is this area? It’s your closets, drawers, and shelves, along with cabinets, baskets, and other types of storage solutions. No matter what kind of storage you currently have in your house, and how much of it you really use to its fullest potential, there are probably at least some changes you can and should make if you plan to age in place.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to storage solutions as you age in place, including how much room you actually have, short-term vs long-term storage of particular items, giving some things away, re-organizing the items that are staying, and if you can get to important things safely.

For people who age in place, the need to change things as they age can be frustrating. It can also put them at risk of harm because they may not want to focus too much on the changes. They may want to just keep doing things the same way they’ve always done them, instead of admitting that they are struggling and need a little extra help around the house. Medical bills and other needs can also suck-up the elderly’s financial assets, so getting things done when it’s affordable is the best way to go. 

Hiring Professional Help for Your Closet & Storage Changes

There are a number of ways you can make changes to your storage and closet areas. One of those ways is to hire a professional organizer. If you’re not comfortable making changes yourself, or if it’s not something your health will allow, then getting someone to help can be your best option. A lot of elderly people are cautious to ask for help, however, maybe it’s because they don’t want to admit that they can’t do something themselves anymore, or because they don’t want to spend the money. It can also be because they aren’t sure who to trust or who they can call to give them the help they really need as they age in place.

If you decide to hire a Professional Organizer, be sure you’re getting one who does the type of work you’re looking for. A general handyman, for example, might not be who you would want to run a new electrical circuit for your closet lighting. Instead, be sure to hire an actual electrician to reduce the risk of fire and other types of problems. Same is true for an Organizer – don’t hire the one that specializes in office organizing, but one that specializes in aging in place organization. This type of organizer helps seniors keep their sense of independence along with dignity.

Choose the Right Shelves, Bars, and Rods

Older homes often have closets with wooden shelves and rods, while newer homes may have plastic-coated metal shelves, along with metal rods or bars. Both of these options can work well for most people, but they aren’t always ideal for the elderly or the physical-challenged population. For example, a wooden shelf that is only sitting on its support and not secured can be pulled loose. Especially if you start to fall and grab the shelf for support, you certainly don’t want that shelf coming down on your head, foot, or anywhere else. Also, the lack of support probably won’t stop you from falling, which just compounds the hazard situation.

High shelf units are not a good choice for you as you age. Because the aging process will sometimes diminish your range of motion, giving you more difficulty reaching anything that’s placed out of your scope of reach. Adding more shelves at a lower height can help you reach things more easily, but you can still use your higher shelving too. Just make sure the things you put up there are placed there securely to reduce the risk that they could fall off and hit you. Also, be sure you’re only putting things up there that you don’t use too much, so you can avoid needing to access that high-shelf often. The more organized your things are, the easier it will be for you to age in place without worry or stress.

Assess the Weight of the Items You Are Storing

One of the biggest problems for people who age in place is not being able to lift items the way they had in the past. They may have stored something on a high shelf for years and may be surprised by the weight of it even if they’re still very mobile and can lift it easily. You don’t want to get something partway off of a shelf and then realize it’s heavier than you expected it to be. When a comforter or blanket falls on you, there’s very little chance of getting hurt. But if you have heavier boxes of items stored up high, the risk of injury is much greater, and a dropped item could result in a serious accident or injury.

What doesn’t feel too heavy now could feel much heavier as you age, so moving things before you think you need to is generally the way to go. The heavier an item is, the closer it should be to the floor, to prevent from lifting it above your head or reach up high to grab it. At the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so as you age in place, heavier items should make their way to lower shelves, and lighter items should move to higher ones.

Another consideration for heavier items that you know you’ll be using is to find a way to store them where they can be moved more easily. You can shop around, say, for example, small crates on wheels or boxes with good latches and sturdy handles. All of those are good choices when it comes to moving items around. The more independent you can stay when you age in place the better, shifting heavier items into more convenient spaces is an excellent, early safety precaution.

Is It Time to Let Go of Those Things?

One of the most difficult things you’ll have to face as you age is letting go of items that might have sentimental value, or might still be of use. Downsizing your possessions can be liberating and can help you get organized, but the process can also be stressful and difficult. Whether you can use everything in your closets or not, many of the items will still hold precious memories—and yet it may be time to let them go. Whether you just need the extra room or want to make room for other things that you’ll be needing as you get older, a reorganization of items and a purge of what you don’t need any more can really help.

As you decide what to keep and what not to keep – think carefully. Ask if you’ll have any practical use for it. Also consider what kind of sentimental attachment an item might have, to consider if it’s something you’ll want to pass along to your heirs. Will they want that item you’ll be giving them? If you think they will, and you won’t be using it anymore, why not give it to them now? Then you’ll know where it is and that it went to a good home, without having to worry about it taking up precious storage space in your closet.

After all the sorting and purging, you can have a yard sale, or donate things to charities or needy families in your area. You can also sell things, just be very careful about doing that if you live alone. Always meet in a public place, and take someone with you. Don’t ever let a stranger come to your home. Elderly people can be more at risk for scams and physical harm from others, so it’s a good idea to be sure you’re taking adequate steps to keep yourself safe from strangers as you age. Being afraid isn’t necessary, but there’s nothing wrong with being cautious.

Aging in Place Organizing

Do your wants and needs fall within this growing trend? You may consider staying in your home because it is familiar and comfortable. You want to have the freedom to live as you wish. Along with this decision comes many considerations that must be researched. Health and safety are a prime concern that must be addressed when planning to age in place.

We can help you customize a transformation for your home to be safe, organized, and aesthetically pleasing so that you can continue to live there, feeling secure and prepared for this time in your life.

  • Assess the interior and exterior of the home
  • Create floor plans
  • Sort through and assign items in your home to go to family, donation, and disposal
  • Organize your home environment for accessibility as well as aesthetics
  • Include family, friends, and others in participation with your hopes and desires
  • Integrate appropriate technologies as needed
  • Coordinate with outside work referrals as needed

Contact me today for a 30-45 minute complimentary consultation to answer your questions and concerns and plan your customized professional organization of Aging in place process.

 

Posted in aging in place, Downsize, Home Concierge, Professional Organizer, Senior Concierge, Uncategorized

Trust Me When I Say – Nobody Wants Your Sh$t (stuff!) Downsize Your Clutter Now

home downsize 2

“In today’s world of tiny houses, capsule wardrobes and consultant Marie Kondo, a lot of people have felt the urge to purge”. More and more of us are deciding to get rid of extra space, and extra stuff, and moving into something cozier and best efficient for our lives.

While several factors are important to us in choosing a home in our later years, which include items like having sidewalks, a nearby grocery store, and relatively short commutes to work, size is also a consideration. I don’t about you, but I don’t want to be taking care of a 2,000 square foot home in my wiser years  – when I’ll most likely have trouble keeping an eye on my shoes!

When you’re newlyweds, eager to start a family, and want extra space for friends and relatives to stay while visiting, a big home fit the bill. But, now your children have their own homes (I hope!) and this big house is now too costly for your life. If you’re an Empty-Nester, now is the time to downsize into a small place.

MANY BABY BOOMERS ARE willing to downsize their home in order to lower their retirement costs. Moving to a less expensive house can simplify your life, to get your expenses under control and help you live out your life in financial security along with Peace of Mind!

Here’s 7 Tips To Downsize & Declutter Your Home

  1. Get motivated. Sometimes you need a reason to downsize. Maybe your son or daughter is moving back home (for a short period of time) and you have to make room, or you’re putting the house on the market in order to move down south. Having a deadline is a powerful motivator to set things in motion. If you don’t have an official move date, then set your own deadline, such as a birthday, anniversary, or the end of the year.
  2. Stop trying to impress everyone. Many people think they have to have the best of everything. But by this point in our lives we should be beyond such trivial comparisons. It’s not what you have in your life that’s important, it’s who and what you have in your life that brings you joy!. The books that sit on your shelves don’t matter as much as the books you’ve actually read. If you really want to impress your friends, display love and interest in what matters to them – instead of showcasing a garage full of junk.
  3. Make a plan. Start making lists and schedules. Come up with a priority-order of things to get done, then delegate who is responsible for what tasks. Who will clean out the garage by what date? Choose the charities that will accept your donations – my favorite is to hold a tag sale to make some extra moola! Determine a strategy for disposing of your household’s old textbooks, magazines, sports equipment, and decide who is going to negotiate with them about what they’re going to take and what they’re going to allow you to dispose of.
  4. Save only what “brings you joy”. Take a positive plan-of-attack. Don’t look at it like you’re getting rid of everything that has no home. Instead, think in terms of saving what’s important and what you will actually use in your new life. If an item doesn’t bring you joy, then let it go to someone else that can appreciate it to its fullest. Your goal is a smaller but more valuable collection of belongings.
  5. Get more decisive. Make decisions about each item. Sometimes decluttering goes in stages. As you proceed through the process, recognize how much energy organizing and disposing of all your stuff takes out of you. You will begin to realize that what seemed like “I can’t live without this” two months ago now just seems like extra stuff. You’ll become more practical, develop a determination to keep your clutter under control. Then, you’ll start moving through your piles more quickly.
  6. Rent a storage unit . . . Not Long Term! Make no mistake, downsizing is a lot of work, and emotional issues may hold you up. If you just can’t find a way to scale down to the level you need, then rent a storage unit and put the overflow in there. Set a deadline for paying the fee; 3 months? A year? Go back and take another look before the deadline. You’ll have fresh eyes and clearer mind to make decisions to complete the job at that point.
  7. Enjoy the new You! The earlier you downsize the better, physically, socially and financially. It’s about giving up something today for something you truly want or need. The payoff is often a fresh start, lower living expenses, less house-related work, a different lifestyle with less stress and more freedom to travel or whatever is most important to you.

Going through a lifetime of possessions may require professional assistance. Not everyone is comfortable, for example, helping people go through family heirlooms. Figure out which pieces family members might want and which to sell, donate or keep. Consider archiving your children’s drawings and photographs digitally. Some opt for an estate sale, garage sale or yard sale, depending on what they have. Whatever you may need help with a Professional Organizer is skilled and educated to help with your declutter & downsize project.

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Are you looking for assistance with downsizing your home? Comment me @ cchomeconcierge@gmail.com. We can talk about what the next step will be for you.

You can find me here – CC Home Concierge Co. ~ formerly Envision – Designs

Like me here – CC Home Concierge Co. Facebook Page

20% off First Concierge Service Booked – Offer good until 3/31/2019

 

Posted in aging in place, Clean and Organize, Declutter, Downsize, Senior Concierge

Home Is Where The Stuff Is – Declutter and Downsizing For Seniors

declutter and downsize the home

5 Easy Ways to Start Downsizing Today

1 – Start with your closet. Donate or sell anything you haven’t worn in 6 months, this is a rule I have followed since 1986. Why not try the Hanger Method, one of Peter Walsh’s favorite tricks? Using this method, you hang all the clothes in your closet the wrong way. As you wear the items, you hang them back up the right way. After 6 months or a Season, you can quickly see exactly which clothes you don’t wear just by scanning the direction of your hangers.

2 – How about your kitchen? Recycle all of those plastic storage containers that are missing lids, and all of the lids that are missing containers. (I even have this problem at home — where do all those lids go?)

3 – The bathroom. If you’re a woman, I know you can do some deep-cleaning here. I’m just guessing you have at least 3 bottles of shampoo, one of which is probably very near empty but still sits in your shower, right? Toss it into the recycle bin.  And what about makeup? Do you have compacts filled with crumbled and broken powder or eye-shadow? THROW THEM OUT! If you haven’t used it in the past 3 months, it’s safe to say you probably will not be using it, so clear out the clutter and make room for the products that you do use and love.

4 – Sell your old books online at a site like BookScouter.com. You can also look for a local used bookstore that buys old books or your local library.This is a great way to get rid of old books and trade for gently used books that you want to read.

5 – Go buy a sketchbook at an art supply shop, Michaels   or Ocean State Job Lot in the CT & RI area. Go through your magazines and tear out any recipes, outfit or decorating ideas, etc. and tape them in the pages of your sketchbook. Then get rid of the magazines. What a great way to rid yourself with several years worth of old magazines.

Downsizing in Easy – Simple Quick Steps

The above 5 steps are a good start to downsizing your life, but what about the rest of your stuff? Where do you begin? How do you know what to keep and what to get rid of? You can contact Cheryl at CC Home Concierge Company ~ formerly Envision-Designs for a free 30 minute consultation, together we will come up with a Downsizing & Relocation Plan for the home.

Peace & Harmony ~ Cheryl

let's create clarity (1)

 



Posted in Active, aging in place, Best Care, Holistic Cleaning, Holistic Organizing, Home Concierge, Parents, Senior Services, southeastern ct, Uncategorized

Smile Because it’s Easier Than Explaining What is Wrong

Elder Quote 7

Check out their website . . . Great stories – https://www.growingbolder.com/

Peace & Harmony ~ Cheryl

Contact me to learn more about my holistic clean & organize conceptCCHC marketing strip

 

 

Posted in aging in place, Elder Care, Parents, Professional Organizer, women business owners

Happy 4th of July

 

I found this video last year – I remember my Mom had a Ray Charles album with this song on it, she would turn-up-the-volume on this song while frying that chicken for the  BBQ! Today, when you are out celebrating with your families and loved ones . . . young and old – Please take a moment and not only give a Prayer to Our Brave that serve and have served this Country, but a Prayer to little ones that are waiting to be reunited with their families.

I am not interested in what political line you stand in, that is your right – I am coming from a Teacher’s heart, that knows how a child of 2.9 to 5 years old feels the moment their parents, their Grandma, their Aunt, their Uncle walks out the door to go to work everyday, and we reassure them that they will return, and they do with lots of hugs and kisses! My heart breaks for these children that sit everyday and wait . . . and wait . . . and wait . . . and wait for someone of some familiarity to come through that door and grab them to give hugs and kisses!

Peace & Harmony ~ Cheryl

Posted in aging in place, Elder Care, Elder Orphans, Professional Organizer, Uncategorized

Refocus ~ Refresh ~ Restart

Refocus Refresh Restart 2

I have decided to refocus my business on what I have a real passion for – that is helping people find the Comfort, Beauty and Functionality in their homes and daily lives. What has happened to our family recently like so many millions of families out there, the question of “What happens to Mom & Dad when they can no longer perform the daily living activities in their homes?”

The daily activities such as: cleaning, keeping the home tidy and organized, laundry, errands, transportation to doctor appointments, medication reminders along with recordkeeping, meal preparation and most importantly companionship and conversation. We will be providing the families with peace of mind knowing that their loved ones needs are being met with a customized home care plan.

These are the services Envision-Designs will offer to Seniors, people who are transitioning from  a rehabilitation center to home, people who are suffering from an illness. Have Envision-Designs take care of all the daily living activities along with anything else that will facilitate a smooth-working household – The medical personnel can concentrate on providing the necessary medical care while we provide the home care!

Envision = Visualize     Designs = Plan

We can help you create a plan you visualize for yourself or loved ones.