Page 11 - Senior Times South Central Michigan January 2021 - 28-01
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Senior Times - January 2021 Page 11
 SIMPLIFY LIFE ... BEGIN AT HOME
By: Sherii Sherban, Publisher
  Do you have areas of your home that look like a tornado just went through? How about a place where you drop whatever you walked in the door with? If so, you are not alone. In both cases your health may be impacted.
hygiene items, clothing, and outerwear. It will help speed up the sorting process. It might also help you to find new items to share with new owners.
 Clutter in your home can be found in a lot of places. Sometimes it’s visible to others, like the “junk” mail that piles on up on the counter but oftentimes it’s hidden in a “junk” drawer or clos- et. It’s any location where you put those things that you’ll get to when you have more time. Are you keeping sentimental objects that guilt keeps you from throwing out? Did your children leave their “stuff” at your house when they moved out and you can’t get rid of it? Are you creating a col- lection on purpose or because you can’t seem to gift things to others or simply throw things out?
Next comes the commitment to remove the clutter and organize what you choose to keep, not just moving the clutter to a new room. Put an exit plan in place. A good friend or loved one may
be just what you need for the purpose of moving items out of the house once a bag or box is com- pleted for the day. Fill it up; take it out.
As you’ve probably guessed, or would possibly argue, clutter may have very innocent beginnings but the reality is that the collection of unnecessary items for some has really gotten out of control. Moreover, the clutter is starting to have a negative impact on health.
In addition to decreasing stress and anxiety,
a clutter-free area can increase concentration.
If distractions are removed, focus can increase. Decreased clutter can also boost your mood, lead to enhanced self-esteem, and increased energy. Letting go of things that lead to stress and diffi- cult memories can also lead to a greater ability
to sleep and a renewed focus on achieving new goals. Furthermore, decluttering can become a significant time-saver, as you no longer waste time searching for misplaced items. In turn, it can free up time for the exercise that you seem to never be able to “find time” for.
Start with one room, or even one drawer, at a time; possibly the room you live in most. Move the easy stuff first. Then as you strengthen your will to reduce, the harder decisions will become easier. This may take a bit longer for some items. Once that room is done (for now) enjoy it and recognize how good you feel about what you have started.
The increased stress of having to regularly move items to find what you’re after can lead to anxiety, frustration, and wasted time. Others may give up on the search and go shopping instead, leading to a waste of money. Just the thought of tackling the clutter may be mentally exhausting for some, possibly leading to stress-related eating and feeling tired, and ultimately, depression. All this to say that declutting your home, or office, can have significant mental health benefits, but it doesn’t stop there.
Realize that for some this will be a very per- sonal, and possibly emotional, task. Choose to release yourself from guilt or obligation for keep- ing items if this is challenging you. Your home should only contain the things you love or use. Don’t let incorrect thinking or other people dictate what you should keep or give away. Similarly, if you find yourself in the position of storing things for others then it’s time for them to go to their rightful owners.
The clutter may also lead to guilt or shame and a discomfort with having visitors, resulting
in decreased socialization and isolation. Although this is currently an unarguable point as most of us are currently isolated due to COVID-19. At the same time, our current situation creates a great opportunity to organize, declutter, and to simplify life.
Consider keeping track of your achievements by writing them down. An easier way might be to simply take before and after photos. You’ll feel better with each accomplishment. Once you’re done consider an even exchange program. You bring something in, and then something must go
Before you begin, investigate selling, recy- cling, donating, and give-away options for the items you choose to remove. Selling options online abound. A quick visit to sites will give you an idea of how much others are asking for similar items. If donating items, the traditional Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Charitable Union are great options. But think about other organizations that support others experiencing homelessness that need all sorts of housing supplies. Some need bedding and household items; others personal
If you just can’t figure out how to begin then you may need to call in an expert. If finances are an issue try one of the many new decluttering shows on TV.
outS.implify your life. Reduce your stress. Declutter.
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    Probate• Elder Law Estate Planning
   Erin L. Majka Phillip E. Harter
  395 S. Shore Drive, Suite 205 Battle Creek, MI 49014 (269) 963-3900
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