By Colleen Ashe,CEO/Founder, Ashe Organizing Solutions
Photographed by Laurie Szostak
The old adage “time flies when you’re having fun” could not be truer as we reflect on our journey of the past 10 years! And while we have organized many people, places and things—our greatest delight at Ashe Organizing Solutions has been de-cluttering and organizing seniors, or those we often like to describe as the Greatest Generation, as Tom Brokaw did in his book of the same name.
There’s something about these gentle souls who are willing to open their homes and let us help them move forward. Some may elect to stay put and safely age in place, while others are looking to transition to a new home either around the corner or out of state. It brings us no greater joy than to assist those who may not physically be able to do the heavy sorting and lifting but are more than willing to participate in the process.
Clients, like Marion Carlson, say they cannot fathom how anyone would want to de-clutter a home that has been lived in for 50-plus years. We, however, wish they could see it from our point of view: we are truly the lucky ones!
We get to hear their rags-to-riches stories, their family-heirloom stories, their favorite-hobby stories or perhaps their list of cherished books. We learn of their adventures, their travels and their families. And lastly, we learn from them. As we reflect on their lives, it reads just like Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
So if you’re looking to help a senior in your life live more safely and comfortably, here are some truths to share:
→ Life can throw you a curveball when you’re least expecting it. Take time to savor what you truly love, and let
go of the rest.
→ Essential papers are important. Find them and keep them in a safe place. These include: a Will, Living Will, Health Care Proxy, Power of Attorney, etc.
→ Homes have a sneaky way of filling up with stuff no one wants.
→ Paper piles seem to grow exponentially when no one is tending to them.
→ Home movies and popcorn is a great combo.
→ Childhood sport trophies, field-day ribbons and school notebooks have served their purpose.
→ Hobbies of the past that brought you joy do not have to stay around to bring you guilt.
→ The cost of clutter is more than dollars and cents. What keeps you awake at night?
→ Most de-cluttering and organizing projects will look worse before they look better—trust the process!
Marion’s adult children are supportive and appreciative of the work we’re doing together as well. It gives them peace of mind, too, that their mom is making her own decisions—on her own terms and in her own time frame. Priceless!
For more information about Ashe Organizing Solutions and what we can do to help, visit us at AsheOrganizing.com. █