Do you have a hoarder in the family? Maybe visiting your grandmother’s house sets your teeth on edge, thanks to all the clutter. You’ve spoken for years about clearing it all out – well, now it’s finally time to act. Skip hire offers a handy solution to get your elderly relative’s home neat and tidy.
1) Take it slow
A massive collection of rubbish doesn’t just build up overnight – and you’re not going to be able to dismantle it in an afternoon. Set a timeframe. Clearabee skips are hired for 14 days, which gives you plenty of time to go through your relative’s things. You can extend the skip hire if you need to, although having a set end date may help to motivate your family member.
2) Be sensitive
They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure – and that’s certainly the case when it comes to your grandmother’s rubbish. What seems like useless old junk to you may in fact have sentimental value, and be hard for Gran to part with. Be sensitive, and listen to her thoughts. Whatever you do, don’t make her feel like a burden, and never talk about how you’ll throw everything away after she’s gone.
To help your relative make decisions, it can help to reframe things in a positive way. Instead of talking about throwing old rubbish away, suggest that you’ll be making it easier for her to get to the things that she really needs. If there’s anything that she absolutely insists on keeping, don’t force her to part with it. That can just create bad feeling between the two of you.
If she’s fretting and feeling guilty – a common problem for the elderly – you can talk to her about how 90% of what Clearabee collects is diverted from landfill sites. Her old clutter will be reused and recycled, so she’s doing something useful for the planet, as well as for her own state of mind.
3) Stick to a system
Clearabee skip hire will deliver the skip to your home and collect it again when it’s full. That means that you have a lot less to worry about, and you can focus entirely on the decluttering task at hand. The easiest way to manage it is with a clear system.
Make a deal with your relative: tell her that she can choose one in every four objects to keep, for example. Alternatively, make goals like filling one bin liner a day. Work systematically from one room to the next. You can probably expect the first days to be the most difficult, as she gets used to the idea of throwing so many things away. After a bit of time, it should get easier for her.
4) Go for the carrot, not the stick
If you’re not careful, then the clutter could just build up again in the future. To stop this from happening, tell Gran that when her house is clean, you’ll give it a bit of a makeover. This doesn’t need to be a full-on redecoration. Just spruce it up a bit, and get it looking nice, so she’ll be motivated to keep it that way.
Once you’ve finished with your skip hire, take some of her most beloved possessions that you’re not throwing away. Dust them off, polish them, and then put them on display in pride of place on the mantelpiece. That will help remind her of the best ways to store objects, rather than just building piles of clutter. This is a great way to bring back some of the houseproud attitude that she may have lost in recent years.