December 09, 2021

Helping Your Elderly Parents Declutter Their Home

Image Credit: The Straits Times

Have you noticed that clutter building up in your parents’ home?

Throughout our life, we tend to collect items that might hold sentimental value to us. Over time, that collection might grow too big to the point where it is starting to take up space at home. This phenomenon often is prevalent among our elderly parents. Hence, it can be challenging to convince our elderly parents to declutter.

We understand your difficulties and the need to provide a better living environment for them. As such, here are some tips on how you can help your parents declutter their home.

Understanding your elderly parents

Most of the time, when we look at a parent’s belongings, we will think that it is a piece of junk. However, have we tried to understand why our parents hold onto them?

There could be many reasons why. As mentioned earlier, some items might hold sentimental value to them, while others might serve to ease their loneliness.

The goal here is to determine underlying reasons as to why they are hoarding some of their items at home.

Coming up with an action plan

After understanding their mindset, the next important step you have to undertake is to develop a game plan. Without a proper game plan, your parents will not be convinced that you have their welfare in mind.

If you are planning to store 'undiscardable' items, the best bet is to keep them at a self-storage facility that is accessible 24/7.

This way, when your parents get sentimental and want to take a look at their belongings, simply bring them to the storage facility to let them reminisce with the item. Furthermore, you will be able to discard lesser belongings, keeping your parents happy.

Talking to your elderly parents

The next step that you will need to take is to talk to your parents. When helping your parents declutter, it is important to let them feel like they are in control.

Rather than talking about the problems of clutter, give them some reasons why they should declutter. Furthermore, using phrases like 'this is an idea, what do you think?' will work a lot better than trying to direct them towards an action.

If your siblings are also going to be involved in the talk, everyone should be on the same page. Meet up with them beforehand to discuss your action plans.

During the talks, do remember to treat your parents as an adult. Even though they are ageing and you are looking after them, they are still your parents. Trying to dictate what they do, keep or store will not end well.

Understand that decluttering will take time

Anyone who has done a clean-up of their home will surely tell you that it is neither easy nor fast. When helping your elderly parents declutter their belonging, you have to understand that it will take time.

The whole process will likely be three times slower than the normal process as not all seniors can make decisions quickly.

Make this more manageable by starting small, breaking down each session into 30-minute windows.

Practice what you preach

If you're asking your parents to declutter, you best make sure to practice what you preach. The worst thing that could happen is for your belongings to be the reason why their space at home is cluttered in the first place.

Ensure to remove all of your belongings from your parent's house before the decluttering process starts. This will set the tone for your parents that you are serious about helping them make more space.

Extra Space and its agents may from time to time request such information (including your name, mailing address, e-mail address, type of request or other information) to provide you with a service or correspondence such as newsletters or promotional materials, or inform you of additional information and services, or to contact you regarding changes to the contents of this website. We may also use such information for any other purposes for which we have obtained your consent.

However, if you have registered your telephone number with the national Do Not Call (DNC) Registry, we will not send you promotional or marketing messages via your telephone unless you have provided Extra Space with your consent to do so. If you have previously provided Extra Space with such consent, then unless this is withdrawn, we may continue to send promotional and marketing messages via your telephone.

You may send us an email to promotions@extraspace.com.sg if you wish to access and/or correct your personal information provided earlier. You may also at any time choose not to receive such updates by sending us an email at info@extraspaceasia.com to inform us of your decision. Please give Extra Space and its agents a reasonable amount of time to attend to your request as Extra Space and its agents may at times, receive large volumes of email requests of varying nature. To safeguard your personal data, all electronic storage and transmission of personal data are secured with the appropriate security technologies, Extra Space and its agents use reasonable endeavour to protect personal information from loss, misuse and alteration. Only authorized employees of Extra Space and its agents who are bound by Extra Space confidentiality obligations will have access to your personal information.

By accessing this website and obtaining the facilities, products or services offered through this website, you agree that Singapore law shall govern such access and the provision of such facilities, products and services and you agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Singapore courts

This website may contain links to third-party websites whose data protection and privacy policies and practices differ from Extra Space and its agents’. Extra Space and its agents are not responsible for the content and privacy policies and practices of third-party websites.

Extra Space reserves the right to amend this Privacy Statement from time to time without prior notice to you. Should there be any amendments, the revised statement will be posted on this website and shall only apply to data collected after the effective date of the revised statement. Your continued use of this website following any privacy statement posted will constitute your agreement to the new Privacy Statement as amended.