DeCluttering For the Next Phase in Life

It’s important to keep current with expiration dates on food. Do some of your spice containers look like the containers of your youth? Do you have fond memories of your grandparents or parents using those same spice containers? If yes, throw them away! Branding experts change packaging about every 10 years, even a slight change so if your cabinet contains 3 package iterations of the same item, toss the older versions. Without expiration dates on jars and cans it’s difficult to decide if the product inside is still safe, if your jars or cans have NO expiration date, take a good look and if you feel at all uneasy do not take a chance eating from them. Best practice is to make sure canned and jarred goods in your cabinets are not beyond their expiration date stamped on them. Try to take a look at expiration dates once a year, especially canned goods.

Here is what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says about expiration dates on food: “With the exception of infant formula, the laws that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) administers do not preclude the sale of food that is past the expiration date indicated on the label. FDA does not require food firms to place “expired by”, “use by” or “best before” dates on food products. This information is entirely at the discretion of the manufacturer.

A principle of U.S. food law is that foods in U.S. commerce must be wholesome and fit for consumption. A “best by”, “use by” or expiration date does not relieve a firm from this obligation. A product that is dangerous to consumers would be subject to potential action by FDA to remove it from commerce regardless of any date printed on a label.”

People tend to place spices in the cabinet above the stove but as we age it gets harder to lift our arms that high and they get forgotten. Place herbs and spices lower so they are easily reached.

Be aware and stay healthy!

The Art of Living Lost: Deirdre De-Clutters
JUNE 1, 2017 BY THE ART OF LIVING LOST

I have a friend who “declutters” for a living; it doesn’t matter if you are a downsizing senior or an inefficient professional, she’s the master of re-organization.

I on the other hand am a recycler; I see the beauty in almost everything. I’m not just a saver of stuff per se but more of a sentimental connoisseur. So this week, while strung out on DayQuil, I decided to declutter my home and, in doing so, I unwittingly decluttered my mind and spirit. Let me explain.

Some say we have 50, 60 or 70+ THOUSAND thoughts a day, looking at my chaos, I wondered how many brain cells I’d burned subconsciously thinking about the crap that physically surrounded me? Items evoking the powers of fear, anger, disdain and embarrassment were all resting in my kitchen cabinets. I found stupidity, failure and gas pains lurking in my pantry. My bathroom was awash with the scents of first dates, success and bitchiness. I wondered, where did sexy go?

Rummaging and discarding; physically crushing and crashing my past, I simply felt lighter.

And with the lightness came clarity and joy.

Week after week I share stories about my every day, and sometimes, not so everyday, life.

I’ve asked you to look up and out; this week I am challenging you to take a look inside.

Inside your cabinets, your home, your office and your life. What’s lurking in plain sight that can be crushed, crashed and discarded? Think about it…

Until next week,

XXOO

http://www.theartoflivinglost.com/the-art-of-living-lost-deirdre-de-clutters/#more-2458

  1. Start early, earlier than you think, especially if you have a deadline. This should help relieve some stress. Clutter is created by postponing decisions.If you are storing items for others, set a date in the very near future for them to pick them up.  It might be emotional for them and they might push the date out so start early then set a date you will get rid of the items.
  2. Try to understand why, how and when the clutter started piling up. Try to be very honest and easy on yourself.
  3. When you get a postcard in the mail that a donation truck will be in the area schedule a pickup and promise yourself to leave them at least 3 large garbage bags worth of donations
  4. Do not accept items that you do not want from family members out of guilt.  Thank them for thinking of you and ask them to pass that item on to someone else
  5. Write down the stories associated with your family’s possessions and attach to the item if you are planning on passing them onto the next generation.  Sometimes just writing the story helps you release the item for someone else to enjoy.
  6. Ensure that all of your personal paperwork is in order, do not wait to do this: Wills, Living Wills, Health Care Directive, etc.
  7. Donate clothes that no longer serve your station in life or clothes that no longer fit or are dated.
  8. Look at donations from DeCluttering as helping someone who could use your extra items to improve their life.
  9. If you are overwhelmed by your DeCluttering task ASK FOR HELP, it’s hard work physically and emotionally.

Please sign up for my newsletter and to receive additional tips at www.DeClutterByDeirdre.com

DeClutter By Deirdre, A Senior Move Management Company

Connecticut Post Article: http://www.ctpost.com/news/slideshow/10-things-you-can-do-to-declutter-your-life-146527.php

DeClutter By Deirdre is committed to assisting people & their families who struggle with where to start and complete de-cluttering their homes so they can de-stress and enjoy a full life without extra burdens they could not previously tackle on their own. People who are ready to take control of all they can in their lives and develop solid systems that allow them to step away from items and stresses that no longer serve them and to enjoy the company of others and have the leisure time to pursue family time, interests and hobbies. Remodeled/organized spaces reduce the mental burden of clutter, allow easier movement about the house when physical challenges present themselves or changes to the home have to be made to allow those individuals who will be aging in place to stay in their own home. Donation to local charities is a major focus, help those in our communities so they can grow and change the world in a positive manner!

Deirdre is a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers, Coalition of Agencies Relating to Elderly Services, Connecticut Geriatric Society, Senior Care Resources of Western Connecticut and Treasurer for Friends of Newtown Seniors.

(Got Clutter?)

It’s fact:  Clutter is bad for your mind, and bad for your wallet.  It’s also bad for your health!  If your living space is messy and cluttered you are living with other housemates!  YES!  Other housemates, besides your family and pets.  A cluttered house is a haven for allergens that flourish indoors.  And if you have indoor allergies, chances are that house dust and it’s components may be a contributory culprit.  By decluttering and cleaning up your living space you will eliminate, if not minimize the presence of indoor allergens.  Decluttering helps you and your loved ones breathe easier.  And that’s GOOD NEWS!

Indoor allergens can be dust allergens, mold allergens and indoor pollen.  Dust mites, cockroaches, and pet dander tend to be the biggest offenders of house dust.  Mold allergens can be visible and invisible, and is a fungus that produces spores that float in the air like pollen.  Ornamental plants and fresh cut flower can be harboring indoor pollen, but most it’s blowing in from the outdoors through open doors and windows, or brought in on clothing or pets.

Silk plants and flowers are often overlooked, too.  These types of plants do not require regular watering care and can be often be unseen for the accumulation of dust.  If you decide to keep this type of decoration in your home, it will require cleaning and dusting.  To remove the dust you will need to wipe down the leaves.  If there are too many leaves you will need to take it outside using an industrial blower or purchase an air spray can and apply.  If there is an extreme amount of dust accumulated you may want to use a hose to rinse down the objects before bringing back into your home.

Dust in the house is a big issue for those with allergies.  The less trinkets around the house makes the dusting easier, and you will be more efficient and organized.  Everyone can breathe easier too!

The benefits of decluttering are far reaching past the aesthetic improvement and the mental health benefits.  A physically healthy self will emerge, like a rebirth, as you continue to live in your newly DeCluttered environment.  2014-07-21 11.28.38

20160801_111942    When is the last time you were asked that question?  How often have you really thought about “support” and the meaning, let alone who is your support.  By definition, support is a network of people who provide an individual with practical and/or medical support.  A good support system helps you achieve a better experience especially if you are going through a transition or a tough time.  A good support system lets you know you are not alone, and helps you to cope in a time of change.

“Getting your ducks in a row” is funny, but can lead the way for effective planning.  There are people all around who can help.  You may have answered this question easily, but the second part of the question is who is qualified to help.  It is important to consider the people in your life and the role they play, and what specific types of support they can offer, including practical planning and preparation.

Changes are part of life and can be challenging and require a lot of “knowing what to do” and the next steps for well-informed and right actions.  When things get difficult toughing it alone can be an uphill battle full of stress and quick decisions that result in answers you may have to live with vs. the time to make wiser and more informed decisions through the help, wisdom, experience and insight of others.  There are a lot of things to consider when dealing with the changes of life that need to be considered.  The guidance for these considerations will help with making the process easier and more pleasurable for you and your family.  This is where your support team can help.

With the right help and support your next life change can be done thoughtfully and easily.  Identifying and establishing a list of reliable people is the first step to building a support system that helps make informed decisions, guides, keeps you safe with ease.

So, who can you turn to?

How many do you really need? (Amasses your space, deflates your wallet)

Which comes first, your shopping habits that contribute to the clutter surrounding your home, or does the clutter exist because you have become immune to your daily surroundings and suffer from the blindness of your possessions?  Either way, both topics are worthy of mentioning and provide understanding when conquering the baggage of clutter.  Just like the long-standing examination “which came first, the chicken or the egg”, (truly, this question has been resolved), there is an answer to the origination of clutter in your home.

Clutter confuses your mind, amasses your physical space, and it attacks your wallet.  Tackling the clutter in your home requires acknowledgement of the monumental mess, by laying your eyes on the mountains of stuff piled so high you cannot see what you have including any broken or damaged items.  When you are taking the necessary steps to conquer the clutter in your space, you will most likely feel the pinch and question “where does this stuff come from?”  It can come from your shopping habits.

“Clutter blindness” can take a toll on your emotions resulting in impulse buys and over spending, or buying items that you already own.  You may be shopping to fill a void in your life.  Or perhaps the how, what, and who you buy for no longer meets your immediate needs.  If your life has evolved out of a family of 6 to just you and your spouse, your shopping habits need to evolve, too.  You will no longer need the value packs of 24 count of paper towels, or the 48 count of toilet paper, or the “buy 1 get 1 for free”, unless you make a conscious commitment to replace these value packs when you actually need them, and not keep them for accumulation.  If your family has reduced in size, has the size of your space changed?  Can your space accommodate these purchases?  The bottom line is what you buy and how you buy affects your living space.

The habit of shopping is not fun when it becomes a whirlwind of frenetic behavior and extreme indulgence.  It brings to you the accumulation of stuff that occupies valuable space in your home, and depletion of your wallet.  That’s a hefty price tag!  The money spent on impulse items would be better spent on a vacation that would enrich your well-being, or save for planning towards future life events.

 

As you live in the regular routine of your daily life you can become immune to your surroundings and the accumulation of stuff.  As the piles build you lose sight of things you already own.  Then add the layer of conditioning to buy more than you actually need, you are on the path to accumulation and clutter.  As you declutter and before you buy another thing, identify and list all that you own.  This may sound daunting, but will help with reprogramming your shopping habits.

Making a list of what you own shows you what you have, any duplicates, what you don’t need to buy again, and impulsive purchases.  Based on this list prepare to discard of the extras.  This is the first step of support for changing your mindset, and preparing you for the next time you need to shop.  Implementing a budget will help deter you from unnecessary spending.  Shopping with a prepared list of items to purchase that are absolutely necessary will aid in preventing a shopping frenzy.

When you identify your shopping habits and how they contribute to the chaos and clutter in your life, you can make better decisions that will support a more organized home and life.

I find a LOT of DVD’s collecting dust in homes, we just don’t know what to do with these collections since the advent of online/on demand movies.  What Kid Flicks found out was when kids are sick they want to watch a movie so it’s their mission to create movie libraries in children’s hospitals.      http://www.kidflicks.org/