Today we conducted a consultation with a woman in her 70’s, Mrs. Revere, facing a difficult turning point, living alone in a large home that includes an apartment and two-car garage that is, arguably, cluttered by the accumulation of 40+ years of life (including an 11-foot shelf full of cookbooks in the kitchen). Her choices seem to have evolved into the following:
- Move to a smaller home with her treasures and then de-clutter.
- De-clutter the family home, room-by-room, in order to create a more comfortable and safer environment in the family home.
- Massive de-cluttering and re-organizing her living space that would be done quickly.
A step-wise approach may work best. We suggested that the room by room de-clutter as the starting point would enable her to create a bedroom on the main floor of the house, reducing the chances of falling again. The longer-range alternative of downsizing and moving can be addressed and implemented when Mrs. Revere and her family are ready to take on the next phase of her situation.
Each of the options that Mrs. Revere is facing has an emotional, physical, psychological and family implication, and I am sure that she is overwhelmed at the task. Well-meaning adult children and neighbors have suggested their own preferences as to the outcome; the simple solution from their point of view is that she should move to a new home with a simple one-floor layout and dispose of all the things that clutter her current living space.
Mrs. Revere herself may prefer a solution that ensures her ability to remain in the family home. Clearly, she should live on a single floor for her own safety that is surrounded by her memories. Our opportunity, as professionals, is to help solve this dilemma for all involved in the way that is most comfortable for Mrs. Revere, but also acceptable to her family.
Do you need some solutions to remain in your home? Call us 800-984-1186.