Tips to Help Your Parents Reduce Their Clutter

January 31, 2024

Tips to Help Your Parents Reduce Their Clutter

It’s a new year and that means new stuff. Your parents are getting older and it just makes sense that the clutter in their home is building up. A life well-lived means the accumulation of belongings and over time that can simply become clutter. 

Here are six ways you can be helpful to your parents in eliminating clutter.

  • Begin the Process as soon as Possible

Decluttering is quite a sentimental process. It will be much harder when your parents are moving quickly, whether into an assisted living facility, or for financial reasons. The time to begin decluttering is now. By beginning before the situation is emergent, you allow your parents to experience a peaceful parting with items they’ve held dear. This also allows for a sensible letting go of items they no longer need.

  • Babysteps

Take one small step at a time. Start small. Start in a bathroom. Old, worn-out towels are something nobody needs and something to which nobody will feel a sentimental attachment. If this is overwhelming, start in a closet or a laundry room. You could even begin with a junk drawer. Once the first small step has been taken, the rest will come more easily. 

  • Be Prepared

You’re helping your parents get organized. You need to be organized in your approach. Make sure you bring boxes, trash bags, labels, markers, packing tape, and a vehicle with enough room inside to help haul some boxes away.

  • Allow Time for Being Sentimental

As you move through the various areas of your parents’ home, you know that there will be some items that will bring memories flooding back to them, and to you! Take time to thoughtfully consider the placement of each item. Is it a keepsake? Is it something that means a lot to them? Will it be something that future generations will value for sentimental reasons? The heart is as important as the home. Even when parting with something, allow your parents to have some time with the item before rehoming it. This can really help with emotional closure.

  • Figure Out Creative Ways to Keep Memories

Whether you decide to load old pictures onto a digital frame, make old t shirts into a cozy quilt, or turn old bottles into bird feeders, there are many ways to repurpose items so that they can be kept or given in love as a keepsake. Find the way that best suits your household. This can be a really fun way to share memories with your parents while decluttering at the same time.

  • Categorize

A great way to think of items is to separate them into four piles; keep, donate, sell, and trash. Once you can get into the mindset of these three groups of things, it will be a lot easier to break things down. The task will seem a lot more doable.

  • When in Doubt Call in the Professionals

There are many organizations who work specifically in organizing and decluttering homes. They are great resources when you are in need of professional advice. 


No matter what, have fun with this process. You will be accomplishing something good for your parents and good for you and it is easy to turn it into a bonding experience. Try to stay away from pressuring them to throw things out, but instead lean into the memories you can all share. Let them know how much the items mean to you. Listen to how much they mean to them. That way, the decluttering process can be healthy and productive.

BrightStar Care of Carroll and Frederick County

If you are in the Frederick-Mt. Airy area and would like to learn more about caring for your beloved senior family member, call BrightStar Care of Carroll and Frederick County. The level of professionalism of our staff is second to none when it comes to caring for that special senior in your life. Compassionate care is what we do best. We employ only the warmest medical professionals and caregivers and we will tailor your experience based on your senior’s specific needs. Empathy is our specialty as we provide the supervision and medical care that is much needed. To book a consultation, visit our website or give us a call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (301) 228-0607.