Posted by Eva Owens
5 Tips to Conquer Clutter with your client
It’s so easy to hold on to miscellaneous items with the expectation that you might need them later. Do you ever toss all of these said items into a box in the closet or onto a high shelf to be quickly forgotten. For instance, right now I’m staring at a small family of ceramic turtles that I bought for my nephew, but forgot to give to him (and now he’s too old), five tokens for a game I no longer play, and two expired debit cards. Why are these on my kitchen counter? I have no idea. This is clutter.
I know most of you can relate to having random items taking up space in your house. Medicaid home care clients and individual providers in the Carina community have shown interest in decluttering. Individual providers from Carina often work with their clients to declutter their homes (in addition to tackling their own clutter woes). Can excessive clutter cause a home care client to feel stressed? Turns out that it can, because clutter often increases the risk of tripping or falling.
We have several new tips for working with clients to declutter their home. Are you a client or perhaps a parent provider? No problem. These tips will be useful in your home too.
Choose One Room or One Small Area to Start
It can be difficult for anyone to declutter an entire home. This is especially true if there has been years of accumulation. Starting with one task is a good way to declutter your home. For example, my whole house could use some decluttering, but this afternoon I’ve decided just to tackle the entry way (with its mounds of keys, mail, jackets and shoes). Perhaps once a week, you can work with your client to declutter a small zone. Good places to start tackling the mess could be the TV sitting area, the kitchen countertops, or bedside tables. Doing one small area at a time will help increase motivation and build momentum to tackle another area.
Set a Time Limit
Decluttering can be overwhelming. Sometimes it makes sense to designate 1 hour to a session of cleaning. Turn on your favorite tunes and start organizing those papers. Don’t forget to limit your efforts to an hour (or even 15 minutes). A time limit can make it easier to start decluttering. For example, I’m devoting only 15 minutes to decluttering my entry way. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Offer to Help Your Home Care Client
Who doesn’t like a little help and good company? Decluttering, like many chores, is best done with a posse. Offer to help your home care client declutter their home. How can you help your client clean up their house? Offer to hold bags or boxes while the client sorts. Ask if you should call the local thrift store to see if they pick up donations or have a nearby drop box. The important thing is to offer to help, because even if your client refuses your help the first time around, it’s always good for your client to know you’re willing to lend a hand.
Start with Non-Emotional Areas
When was the last time you cracked open those boxes? You know the ones. The ones in your basement with old letters, photos, and (in my case) sentimental t-shirts I will never wear again. We all have them. Going through certain types of clutter (photo frames, old papers, etc.) can be a rush of overwhelming emotions for your home care client. It can be a long process to sort through items and remember all those memories. Don’t tackle these areas first. Start in an area of the house that is less likely to be upsetting… like the fridge or kitchen cabinets. Again, this builds momentum and motivation when tackling a large task.
Happy decluttering! And remember to put on your favorite tunes!
Have you done some deep cleaning or decluttering with a client or family member in the past? Are you currently looking for a new home care client? Don’t forget to tell your clients about a successful decluttering story in your phone or in person interviews. Real examples of how you’ve positively impacted a client’s life really show off your home care skills.
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