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Six Ways Seniors Can Clear Clutter

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Six Ways Seniors Can Clear Clutter

July 15th was National Give Something Away Day, but seniors who have noticed that their space feels cramped don't have to wait until next year to clear some of their clutter. Clutter can add dangerous tripping hazards to rooms and make living areas feel crowded and uncomfortable.

Though our residents have often already downsized, potentially more than once before moving into the Collinwood assisted living community, many of them still struggle to get started on deep cleaning or allow clutter to rebuild over time. Decluttering can be stressful, but knowing that others can benefit from their possessions can give seniors the nudge they need to part with some of these items.

By scaling back the amount of stuff in their assisted living apartments, seniors can enhance their personal safety and reduce the amount of time it takes to maintain. To help you get started today, here are six ways seniors can clear clutter and serve their community.

1. Sharing History

Old antiques and heirlooms, especially those with stories surrounding them, can become valuable teaching aides in displays. Museums and historical societies often use donated artifacts to build their exhibits, and in Fort Collins, many places may be interested in receiving these items. Seniors might check with the Museum of Discovery and the Global History Museum. While not every donation is placed on prominent display, the pieces can serve as useful tools for research while being preserved in a properly-controlled storage environment.

2. Promoting Art

Schools, senior centers and women's shelters are just a few of the organizations that can benefit from receiving leftover fabric, notions and supplies of crafter's past projects. Quilters also may want to consider local theater groups and charities such as Quilts of Valor when trimming down their stash.

3. Encouraging Reading

While the library may be the first place that comes to mind when contemplating donating books and magazines, it isn't the only place that can benefit from these materials. Operation Paperback connects individuals with troops stationed overseas who have requested reading supplies. Seniors who wish to clear out books and games that their grandchildren have outgrown can offer their collection to nearby churches, homeless shelters and hospital waiting rooms.

4. Repurposing Items

Transforming heirlooms into something new before gifting them to younger members of the family is becoming more popular due to Pinterest posts and DIY websites.

A few ideas seniors may wish to try include:

Creating hair ornaments from old buttons and costume jewelry

Fashioning wall decorations out of sewing patterns, lace or potholders

Making memory or Christmas tree ornaments with old ties, handkerchiefs and clothes

5. Free Rummage Sales

Many churches and nonprofits hold free rummage sales through the year. These events are a good way for seniors to combine decluttering their homes of a variety of items and helping families in need. Some of the things residents may wish to donate include bulky storage totes, unused gadgets and surplus kitchen supplies.

6. Crafting with Purpose

Seniors who love crafting can help prevent clutter by choosing to only create projects that they can donate once completed. Charities across the country accept different handmade items based on their needs such as greeting cards for children in hospitals, knitted caps for preemies, blankets for shelter pets and paracord bracelets for soldiers.

Web searches can help seniors find groups interested in the results of their favorite crafting activities, or they can explore websites such as Giving Artfully or Sewing with Nancy for lists of known organizations and items.

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