Do you remember your mother or grandmother telling you to always make sure your bed is made before you leave the house? Do you tend to clean right before going on a vacation?
Many of us have this in our heads that God forbid we have an accident and do not return to our homes, we don’t want people to think we are messy. This unfortunately, gets harder to do when you are older. If you experience a fall or just aren’t feeling well and have to go to the hospital, the last thing you are thinking about is the neatness of your home.
When my mother passed away years ago, I remember cleaning out her apartment. She suffered a stroke so was not prepared to be leaving her things behind. Looking through someone’s life through their house is often eye awakening as well as sad. You find things they treasured and also find unfinished projects that will never be done by them.
After this happened to me, I went home and began the decluttering process. If I don’t want to leave this in my home if I were to die unexpectedly or have to go into a nursing home, then I should get rid of it. Don’t put off using what you buy. Some people will buy new clothes and not wear them, new technology and not try it, and an abundance of other acquisitions that are often left in the packaging.
I have been on a decluttering mission. I read articles, make lists and put goals on my to-do list. I want to be organized so I know what I have, where it is, and if it necessary to keep. Just recently I cleaned out half my work wardrobe as I retired from my full time job and just working from home. In my home, I have dedicated areas for my Virtual Gym classes, my freelance writing, my online teaching and just a reading nook when I want to rest.
As my mother-in-law sits in rehab waiting to be placed in Assisted Living, I wonder if she is feeling any regret to leaving so many items to sort through in her home. We look at it as a beautiful tour of her life and we can pick and choose what she brings to her next stage. This experience makes you cherish your parents, what is close to their heart, and treasure what is important to them.
Life interrupted …. it can happen at any time, in any way, and not just to an elderly person. Hence, the don’t go out without clean underwear saying we have heard over and over again. We know it doesn’t make literal sense but it makes sense that we should know what our life represents when someone may walk into our interrupted household. No, it cannot always be clean and tidy. However, we should be diligent in decluttering, donating, and purging as often as necessary.
In fact, I interrupt this post to go declutter that junk drawer that has been annoying for a few weeks now. Just one project, and one day at a time. You will feel so accomplished.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and it made you reflect. Feel free to check out some of my other posts. Also, check out my stories on Vocal Media at: