Home organization makes aging in place safer and easier for yourself or your aging loved one. We’ve compiled a list of 7 simple organization tips that can make your life at home easier and more organized while you continue to live independently.
#1 Store Items at Waist Height
As you age, your mobility may lessen. In order to make your belongings more ergonomically convenient, consider storing them at waist height. You can install shelves, use filing cabinets, or place items on tables. If you don’t have to bend to pick it up, not only are you giving your back a break but you are decreasing your likelihood of losing your balance and falling forward.
#2 Keep Furniture Out Of The Walkways
Have you ever stubbed your toe on a chair and had a brief moment of “where did THAT come from!”? To avoid injury we encourage older adults to have their furniture moved out of their direct pathway.
For example, moving chairs away from doorways prevents you or others from walking into it. Equally, ensuring that tables are not in your walking space will prevent you stubbing your toes.
#3 Anchor Your Area Rugs
Just like keeping furniture out of the way reduces the risk of injury, anchoring your area rugs can prevent the corners from flipping up and causing you or your loved one to trip. Carpets, if not anchored, can also pose a slipping hazard as the grips on the bottom may not be enough to keep the rug from sliding around.
#4 Extra Lighting
Using and installing extra lighting is very important for increasing the visibility of your items and home. We recommend using floor lamps and table lamps whenever possible. The extra lighting is especially helpful for individuals who may be experiencing some vision difficulties.
Some people, especially if they awake often in the night, may find it beneficial to install a night-light in their bathroom and/or hallway. This easily lights the way to the bathroom but you don’t have to be worried about it being too bright.
#5 Install Hand Rails
Install hand rails – if you don’t have any already – to your stairs, hallways, shower/tub, or beside your toilet.
Hand rails are the best option for seniors who may feel unsteady on their feet at times. In most cases, hand-rails are drilled right into the stud of the wall, and therefore are the most sturdy option. It is important that these are installed correctly so do get a professional in.
#6 Donate Clothing That No Longer Fits
If you have clothing in your closet that you haven’t worn in a while, consider donating it. Make a rule with yourself when you go through your closet; if you haven’t worn it in the last six months, it’s time to say good-bye.
When you are looking for donation centres, consider the following:
- You can arrange for a free pick-up from your home, and there are donation bins located in and around Ottawa.
- You can arrange for a free pick-up from your home, and there are donation bins located in and around Ottawa
- Drop off to a bin or to a store location.
- Drop off to their donation centre.
- Drop off to their donation centre.
#7 Organizing The Laundry Room
Laundry detergent, softener and dryer sheets, oh my!
The laundry room can get cluttered very quickly, making it difficult to navigate safely. We recommend putting a laundry hamper in the room, that way when you quickly toss clothes in as you walk by, they won’t land on the floor (thus eliminating a tripping hazard!)
We also recommend putting your heavy bottles of laundry detergent at waist height to prevent you from having to bend over to pick it up. By keeping basic body mechanics in mind, you can minimize the risk of straining your back in the laundry room!
Keep a garbage bin in the laundry room as well, so you have somewhere to throw the lint from the dryer. Remember to empty the lint trap after every load to prevent fires.
How Can Freiheit Care Help?
If organizing your home seems like a daunting task, or you are unable to do it yourself, give us a call to find out how we can help. We have customizable packages that we can build for you, ensuring that someone is available to help you organize your home when you need it. Having extra hands while organizing is especially helpful, and even more so when the staff coming in have your health and safety in mind.