More often than not, young kids are the easiest people to buy for during birthdays and holidays. When you’re young, it’s fun to make a birthday list with all of the hottest toys and games. However, it’s often not as easy to come up with ideas as you get older. Everyone has that person in their life who seems impossible to shop for, which might mean it’s time to turn to a less traditional gift.
Seniors who still live at home may not want or need specific items. Though this can make shopping hard around birthdays or the holidays, you could instead give the gift of time. Taking some time to help an older loved one organize their living space can be an especially thoughtful gift, doubly so if they face mobility or other challenges. Not only will they likely appreciate the help, they’ll probably also appreciate spending time with you. Read on for our top suggestions (and to get savings on organizers)!
Though this seems like a boring task—something many of us do at least once a year—it can be a huge help to seniors who are living independently at home. Plus, you don’t have to clean out every nook and cranny of your loved one’s home. Instead, focus on the most-used rooms—probably the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. If you’re still not sure where to start, or overwhelmed by decades’ worth of stuff, a good starting point is to simply spend time with the person. Observe their daily routine, and take note of what items they use most frequently.
How easy or hard was it for the person to find the items they need? Did they have to bend over or get down on their hands and knees frequently? Were items they often use together (such as utensils) stored near each other? Are the most-used items kept in easy-to-access places, or do you have to dig to find them?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself as you see how your loved one is using their space. Take notes on anything they struggle with, because these are the areas to focus on. Only then is it time to organize and rearrange the space to make it more functional and usable. For example, if the person cooks, place items they might need at the stove like spoons, spatulas, salt and pepper within easy reach.
Bins, drawer organizers, dividers, and other storage solutions are a quick fix to making space more usable and can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to find things. Even small carts like this narrow storage option are an easy way to store bathroom essentials while keeping them handy. (They’re also useful for small kitchens with little counter space!)
Store items the person doesn’t use often in slightly harder-to-reach spots. This can include high or low cabinets and shelves. Be sure to place these items with like objects. That way, you’ll free up space for commonly used items and they’ll be much easier to reach.
When picking storage solutions, get bins and dividers you can label. They should also be tough and easy to grip to lessen the chance of an accident. Cube storage shelves like the one below are a great solution, because they can be easily assembled, labeled, and used.