Many people also experience a high level of cortisol because they have too much stuff. Paper, emails, possessions, and collectables begin to accumulate to the point that they are no longer a joy to have and instead become a stress to keep organized. They become clutter! Here are a few ideas on how to start to “de-clutter” your life and put an end to some of the stress that may be impairing your memory.
Avoid trying to tackle the whole house at once. When beginning to de-clutter belongings tackle one room or area at a time. About two hours at a stretch is ideal. Begin with multiple items. Start with clothing, kitchenware, tools, books and anything else you have in abundance, and narrow it down to only the amount of items that will fit in the space you have. Focus on the most-used items. Don't sort to keep by the newest and best; keep only what you will use and what you love.
Sort and keep only a few favored items. Piles of photos, memorabilia, and papers take up too much space. Many services digitize images and papers for a reasonable fee. Business supply stores often offer shredding services on a per box basis.
"Which are your favorites?" Choose two to three "most loved" pieces of a collection to keep. Donate, sell or gift the rest of your collection. Take photos of the rest of a collection and present them in a special book. While it's not exactly the same as owning, it's a space-saving way for you to continue enjoying a collection.
Target recipients for specialty items. While it's time-consuming to find recipients for everything, it may be worth the effort for some items. Schools may welcome musical instruments, old costumes, or tools. Auto repair shops and community non-profits may take tools and yard tools.
Consider getting help. A local Salem company that is skilled at De-cluttering and getting your home ready to sell is Smooth Transitions Willamette Valley LLC. Contact Shellee Lowery at 503-779-5836 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-cost consultation.
Willson House has partnered with Smooth Transition to help with another kind of stress. The stress that caregivers have when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia can be overwhelming. Two support groups held in Woodburn can help. A group meets on April 21st at Woodburn Health Center (formerly Wellspring) from 2:00-3:30 pm. Lorrie Cox, a resident in Senior Estates, facilitates a group on April 1st from 6:30pm to 8pm at the Estates Country Club.