A serious danger to our health as we age is injury due to a fall. Clutter that accumulates on the floors of our homes creates many risks for falls. Reading material, shoes, and general “overflow” often create hazardous clutter.
Magazines, Books & Newspapers
It’s easy to let reading materials accumulate on the floor next to our favorite chairs or next to the bedside. Before you know it, several stacks have grown and prevent you from getting in and out of the chair or bed easily.
Magazine holders are an easy solution for any room where reading materials build up. They come in a wide variety of sizes and materials so it’s pretty easy to find one that will work in every room. The important habit to develop is to use the holder for CURRENT materials only. Once the container fills, it’s time to make some decisions about what can be recycled and what needs to be returned to it’s permanent home: a bookshelf.
Loose shoes underfoot (pun intended) can easily cause a stumble. The entryway and the bedroom are the two main places shoes are left out. Having an accessible, convenient place to put shoes away is key to keeping them out of your way.
Shoe organizers come in 3 general types with a lot of variety within each type: floor styles (rack or bench), pockets that hang from a door or closet rod, and wall mounted. There’s also nothing wrong with having an open basket or tub to toss shoes into for a quick and easy solution.
This kind of clutter can occur in any room. What happens over time is the shelves, cabinets, closets, and drawers that hold our items get filled. Overflow often ends up nearby but not able to be put away because the “home” is already full, often with old, unused items. If you have accumulated overflow it is a sign that it’s time for a purge. Active, accessible storage space is very valuable; make room to hold the items that you actually use and need in order to keep the floors clear.
See Your Space With Fresh Eyes
It’s can be hard to see hazards in our own homes because we acclimate to how things are. Try having a non-judgmental friend, family member, or professional come over and help you notice the fall hazards created by clutter. Seeing your space through someone else’s eyes can provide surprising opportunities for improvements!