Yes, it’s that time again and most of us are racking our brain for the perfect gift for mom especially this year. We need something special. Something she can actually use. Something she will appreciate. Something thoughtful on our part, a gift that keeps on giving; what about the gift of organization?
For the past year, a lot of our parents have been shut in their homes unable to go out. Even with fewer restrictions, many have continued to stay at home. Because of that, a lot has changed around the house, or needs to.
Have you noticed how mom is using her home lately? Has she hunkered down in one room reducing her foot print? Did you notice a bit of a struggle to reach the shelf where her favorite cup is? Did she get shorter or are the cabinets higher? Are things “stacked” around that didn’t used to be? If you are noticing little things that are having a big impact on her quality of life, then this is the year to give her some L.O.V.E.
Listen to what she’s saying. She may be asking for help. Observe how she is living. Is she frustrated or struggling to do the most basic things. Vocalize; ask questions about what you see. “Hey, is that stored to high? Can I move that closer?” Empathize – let her know you understand and share her feelings and you want to help.
COVID has changed things for all of us, but especially for her. Simple tasks are not so simple. It may be time to reevaluate the home environment. Start with the areas she uses the most. Involve her in any changes that need to be made. Get creative with storage solutions and don’t shy away from change.
Start in the kitchen. This necessary space may not be getting the workout it used to get when family meals were prepared there. Reducing the number of dishes, pots and pans could help her feel less overwhelmed and keep surfaces less cluttered. I once tried to get a mug from a shelf a little over my reach and ended up with a black eye. So, move or arrange only what she needs for herself in a place where she can reach them. This is the creative part. You may have to forgo cabinets altogether. There are great stackable options that sit right on the counter and organize everything she will need.
If she likes to cook make sure the items she uses are handy and easy to get to. Put like things together in a common area, like all the things used for baking from dry goods, spices, to cupcake papers, mixers and baking pans. Make sure she can comfortably reach them. Remember, this is for her, so ensure the new set up works. Take a look at her favorite reading chair and the area around it. Can she reach her glasses, books or magazines? Is there a place for the remote, a cup of tea or coffee? How bright is the light and is it easy to turn on or off? This is a good time to change out old light bulbs for Long Life LED’s which are safer and more economic. Are there cords or other things that could potentially be trip hazards? You can carry this theme throughout the entire house. Listen, Observe, Vocalize and Empathize…. She will love it!
EXTRA! EXTRA! And I do mean EXTRA!
One of the definitions of extra is, “being in addition to, unnecessary, excessive or extravagant.” I was in Walmart yesterday and did you know there is an EXTRA Barbie? Let me tell you, she was…extra. It’s good to know that some words still actually mean what they say. So, now that we’ve cleaned up and cleared up the most necessary areas – what the Sam Hill do we do with all the extra!!!! How do we know if it really is extra? For those who are not sure, glad you asked. There is a comedian somewhere who would be happy to answer this for us.
Enough. When you have more than you need – it’s extra. X marks the spot. When you need a map to find it or didn’t even know you had it – it’s extra. Tired of looking at it and it’s everywhere. Worse, tired of it looking at you – it’s extra. Realize it’s still in the box, got the tag on it and never been used – it’s extra. When you have to be as nimble as a goat in order to cross the room – it’s extra.
Let’s be honest. There is a distinction between trails and walkways. One is made by wildlife the other by intelligent design. When turning sideways becomes necessary to traverse the room it is no longer a safe environment and action is required.
The rules of engagement are simple… there are no rules. This is an emotional black hole that can swallow you up and spit you out faster than grass through a goose. When it comes to stuff, mom can be one tough cookie. Let’s be realistic, she spent most of her life carefully collecting these things. She came from a generation that had very little and worked very hard to get what they had and fought, sometimes literally, to obtain the freedom to have a home and a life of extra. So rule number one, don’t disrespect the extra. It has meaning and there is very little hope of logic. Live to fight another day by giving the gift of comfort. The comfort of boxing it up to put it out of the way vs. the dreaded give it away or worse throw it away even though all three of these probably need to be done. Rule number two, call a professional.
All of this can be overwhelming – for everyone involved. That’s why Pathfinders has a solution. We organize it, right size it, sort it, pack it, and a whole lot more. Give us a call today; we could make your life a little bit easier.
For Mother’s Day buy 2 hours of services and get 2 free! Contact us today for a free consultation. We’d love to help you find the right path.
Authors Bio – Sherri Lanier-Goldston
Sherri Lanier-Goldston began working with Pathfinders Downsizing Solutions in February of 2019. She has written for Nest Entertainment and is currently working on solo book projects for children and young adults. She is a native Floridian and lives in Lutz with her family.