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From the Community Press

Staying Organized

Summer is over and fall has begun. Seniors in Albuquerque are fortunate to enjoy 4 distinct seasons. As you sip some hot tea and enjoy some green chile breakfast burritos while colorful balloons float overhead, you might be thinking about the year ahead. It’s time to pack up summer items and make sure those winter coats and mittens are ready to use. And with the holidays are right around the corner, it will be time to pull out those fall and Christmas decorations everyone loves. Staying organized can make this time of year so much easier. From organizing seasonal items to your medications, you can benefit from making just a few easy changes.

Clothing items. If you have a large closet that accommodates all your clothes year around, you are set. However, even with those nice spacious closets in your retirement home, you can keep those summer items dust and cobweb free by storing them in protective containers. You can find giant zip lock bags with a mesh strip to allow for some air flow while keeping those clothing items fresh and organized. Pack away your swimsuits, beach towels and summer dresses and use another storage container for your sandals. Next spring, you can swap those items out and put away your winter items. You’ll keep your closet clutter free and more seasonally friendly this way too.

Holiday favorites

Do you have a pile of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations? As each holiday approaches, it’s so much fun to add touches of the season to every room of your home. You’ll likely be having the grandkids over as well as neighbors from your 55 plus community and it’s fun to create a cozy atmosphere. This fall and winter, get some organizing boxes or totes for each holiday and put your decorations into the correct box as you put away your Thanksgiving decorations and pull out the Christmas ones. Keep a sharpie and labels handy to mark each container. If you have a labeled box or tote for each holiday, it will be easy to have an overview of your treasures and you won’t be as overwhelmed when it’s time to put the decorations up.

Medications. Seniors often have several medications to take on a daily or weekly basis. Your doctor may suggest adding additional vitamins as the winter approaches to help boost your immune system. If you have difficulty remembering to take your medications every day, or if it seems like a huge chore, you may find that purchasing an inexpensive pill organizer will do the trick. These are small trays with a little box for your pills for each day of the week. Some medications need to be refrigerated, making your pill schedule a little complicated. In these cases, you may find that downloading a medication manager app onto your smart phone can help keep you on track. These apps can be free and others may come with a small fee. Find one that is simple to use and make sure to allow app reminders and alerts to appear on your phone.

As you put away your summer items and begin organizing, it’s a good opportunity to get a head start on that spring cleaning. Keep a paper bag handy to put items away for Good Will – perhaps you ended up hating that sweater you bought last year and it’s still brand new.

Any chance you get to organize your home will help cut down on future projects to tackle decluttering and downsizing your retirement home. And organizing your belongings will also help you breeze through the holidays as you easily pull out those Christmas decorations. Just a little effort will help you enjoy each season more and make life seem so much more manageable. If you have a loved one in an assisted living or nursing home, you can help them start a little collection for each season. Bring some home-made cookies over and assist them in adding a few holiday touches to bring them some cheer this year!

4 responses to “Staying Organized

  1. Very practical advice. As part of an active senior community in Albuquerque, I don’t disqualify timesavers! Organizing my pills means I get more time to go enjoy even more activities every day with my friends and family! As my grandkids would say, retirement is awesome. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for the comment, Melinda! So wonderful to hear you are enjoying retirement!

  2. Even though Albuquerque doesn’t get cold, my Halloween decorations are up and ready to go! I love seeing all the adorable children’s costumes when they visit their senior in independent living. My thanksgiving decorations are in a box by the door ready to swap out the Halloween ones once the 31st comes around!

    1. Thank you so much for the comment, Henrietta! It sounds like you are well prepared for the holidays!

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