Over the past few years, there has been a growing shift in attitude that calls into question the benefit of collecting stuff and instead focuses on decluttering and streamlining possessions, keeping only the things we truly love and use. Older adults tend to accumulate many belongings that can not only make keeping organized difficult, but can cause preventable trip and fall accidents that may lead to a loss of independence.
So as Mother’s Day approaches, it may be a good time to reassess buying yet another knick-knack for mom to put in her already bursting china cabinet. Instead of buying something, we’ve come up with a few ways to help aging parents pare down unnecessary items, stay connected with friends and family and create a home that is safer and more inviting.
Mother’s Day Ideas for Less Stuff and More Joy
- Instead of buying books, consider pre-loading an e-reader with some favorite classics and a few new releases to get started. Added bonus: the font size can be easily adjusted to accommodate vision problems.
- Cookbooks are favorite gifts this time of year but chances are, mom’s already got more than she can count. Instead of adding to the collection, why not organize the family’s favorite recipes with the help of an online recipe index like www.eatyourbooks.com ? The search engine has over a million recipes indexed so you can access all the cookbooks you own and find recipes from magazines or blogs in seconds.
- Get some help – hiring a professional organizer can help make purging less stressful for family members.
- Buy tickets to an event. Time spent together is the only gift moms really want (and maybe a break from cooking).
- Gather the clan and tackle a project around the house. Cleaning out the garage, changing light bulbs and batteries in smoke detectors or getting through some of a honey-do list can be the best gift she’ll get all year.
- Offer to make a run to the recycling depot to get rid of old newspapers, magazines, bottles or cans.
- Build a raised bed garden or fill pots for easy planting.
With a little thought, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day can be an excellent opportunity for families to help offer support to keep older adults successfully aging in place. With less time spent searching for gifts, families will gain the one thing we always seem to be in need of; time.