While attending the 2011 National Association of Professional Organizers conference in San Diego last month, I had the pleasure of meeting Rebekah Gould, a professional organizer who specializes in helping older adults remain clutter-free, safe and independent in their homes. (You can watch her video review of Purse Perfector, recorded at the NAPO conference, here.)
- Identify your lifestyle. Purchase only those items that support your lifestyle and you have room to store.
- Give a home to all your possessions. Always store like items with like. If you have multiple sets of keys, keep them all in the same place. Store items where you use them for easy accessibility. Return items to their designated homes.
- Create a designated space in your entryway or kitchen for keys, eyeglasses, cell phone and wallet. Use a bowl, basket or drawer.
- Replace mismatched hangers with matching ones. Arrange clothes by type of apparel (skirts, pants, shirts), and then by color. You will save time and energy by not having to search for what you want to wear.
- To add order to your kitchen, hang cooking utensils, pots and pans on the wall, but within easy reach.
- Keep recycling container in kitchen; each week recycle unwanted newspapers, magazines, documents, plastic and glass containers.
- Neatly store all bed linens, blankets, pillows and towels in one cabinet sorted by color and size.
- To manage paperwork, sort all documents and store alphabetically in clearly labeled folders in a file cabinet.
For the past 25 years, Rebekah Gould was an employee of major New York and Connecticut corporations specializing in business organization and event planning. She also worked extensively as a volunteer in social service agencies and community programs that provide services for older adults. Now she runs her own professional organizing business, Organized Aging. Transferring her workplace skills to home organization has given her the opportunity to enable older adults to live clutter-free and remain independent and safe in their own homes for as long as they can.