The Rewards of Decluttering

The Rewards of Decluttering

There are obvious reasons to declutter. Safety: Clutter can trip us up. Efficiency: With declining eyesight, it gets hard to find things we use everyday. Focus: Messy environments can make it hard to process information.

Clutter is a growing problem today among all populations, and especially the elderly. To help your loved one downsize, create more room in their home and/or just make it safer to age in place, it is important to note the difference between hoarders and clutterers. Hoarders are obsessive and will often need a trained professional specializing in obsessive compulsive disorder to let go. Clutterers, the more common type, are more apt to let go with a little encouragement and support. This article deals with the latter.

Why Is It So Hard to Do?

Whether you want to pare down the stuff in your home, garage, or a storage unit, one problem is knowing where to start. The more we have, the more overwhelming it is. And for some of us the idea can be extremely anxiety-producing. A recent Yale study found that for some people, a part of our brain reacts the same way to the anticipated loss of valued possessions as it does to the idea of quitting an addiction. And there is the additional factor for  the elderly of not wanting to lose a connection with the past, whether that be old school papers or a favorite jar opener you’ve had in the family since 1969 (most of us have at least one of these things still hanging around the house!)

Some Tips for Success

  1. Get “buy in” from your loved one.Discuss the benefits for paring down, including potentially making some money from reselling your “stuff.” That can be through a yard sale, consignment shop, Craig’s List, or eBay. According to the New York Times, a well-planned garage sale typically nets between $500 and $1,000.
  2. Share the process.Come up with ways to make it an enjoyable activity you share, such as reviewing old photos or school papers together, or doing a “fashion show” to see what clothes to keep. Create incentives—such as an outing or meal after doing a certain amount of “work.”
  3. Don’t try to tackle too much at once.Help your loved one develop a strategy that addresses a room at a time, and then a single task at a time, so they are not overwhelmed. A good rule of thumb is to do no more than three hours of sorting a day, which is about how long we can sustain focus without a break.
  4. Get organized.Consider preparing three bags or boxes and labeling them Keep, Toss, and Sell/Donate. You might add a fourth box for things that need repairing, mending or dry cleaning, but don’t add more options than that. Put away what’s in your Keep pile at the end of each day and throw out or recycle what’s in your Toss pile.
  5. Be decisive.When it doubt, throw it out. Organizers often use the rule of thumb that if you haven’t used it/worn it/looked at it in a year, it’s time for it to go. When it comes to ornamental items or keepsakes, the other common standard is to only keep those things you really love and that give you pleasure. If that knick-knack your Aunt Marge gave you makes you cringe, it has no place in your home, regardless of the sentiment attached to it.
  6. Get professional help.If the job is just too big or you need direction, consider hiring a professional organizer. They can give you an overall strategy, or guide you through the process. Do a local search for “Certified Professional Organizers,” if you don’t have a referral for a professional.

Going through our possessions and ridding ourselves of things that no longer fit our lives is a process we can all benefit from. You may find that going through this process with your loved one will be a positive and rewarding experience for both of you. And you may just find you are motivated to do it for yourself as well!

—By Caren Parnes

Contributor for The Senior’s Choice

Hallmark Homecare Remains First Choice for High-Quality Caregivers in Shrinking Pool of Top Talent

Hallmark Homecare Remains First Choice for High-Quality Caregivers in Shrinking Pool of Top Talent

Streamlined Homecare Franchise Model Has Solution to Nationwide Shortage of Caregivers

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nevada (March 6, 2018) – Hallmark Homecare, a nationwide network of care coordinators matching elderly clients with the right caregivers, is navigating around the issue of a dwindling supply of home caregivers by providing a higher earning potential. As a result, Hallmark Homecare attracts the best professionals in the field.

By 2030, more than 20 percent of Americans will be over the age of 65, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. With an aging population and a rising number of seniors electing to age at home, there has never been a higher demand for home healthcare services. Yet, just 9.9 percent of the 1.5 million home healthcare workers in the U.S. are registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses or certified nursing aides (CNAs).

The inability to attract top talent remains a pain point for many home care agencies within the industry. Fortunately, Hallmark Homecare’s business model is much more appealing to top candidates in the field, which provides franchisees with a significant competitive advantage.

Due to Hallmark Homecare’s direct-hire business model, CNA caregivers have a higher earning potential than with other homecare providers. Hallmark Homecare eliminates the agency middleman and associated fees, which saves clients up to 35 percent or more. This savings allows clients to pay their in-home CNAs a wage higher than the industry average. The higher pay attracts more quality caregivers for Hallmark Homecare’s wide client base, making them a top choice for the best professionals in the field.

“Hallmark Homecare’s innovative business model allows us to attract the most qualified and experienced home healthcare professionals in the job market,” said Steve Everhart, founder and president of Hallmark Homecare. “The savings from the direct-hire model allow our families to pay caregivers a better-than-industry average wage. Everyone benefits from this model – clients, franchisees and caregivers – as it puts more money in their pockets.”

Hallmark Homecare specializes in connecting experienced, fully-insured, trustworthy, reliable and credentialed home caregivers with families who want to hire in-home care for their loved ones. Hallmark Homecare is different than traditional homecare businesses because franchisees, known as care coordinators, search for and recruit the best professional caregivers and place them with clients on a direct-hire basis. Clients prefer this model because it emphasizes choice and empowerment.

Hallmark Homecare is affiliated with The Senior’s Choice, the largest and most recognizable membership network of senior care providers in the world. This association allows Hallmark Homecare franchisees to leverage the experience provided by The Senior’s Choice, which was founded in 1999. Hallmark Homecare franchisees also enjoy low initial investment, continual corporate support, the ability to grow their own client network and work from home.

No prior healthcare experience is required of franchisees, due to comprehensive corporate training and support. During training, franchisees develop sales and marketing techniques crucial to building their client network. Corporate provides training on care coordination and remains available for support once the franchisee has their Hallmark Homecare business up and running.

For franchise information, visit or call (888) 519-2500 (ext. 6).


Founded in 2013, Hallmark Homecare is a network of care coordinators catering to the home care client segment that prefers to directly hire their caregivers rather than engage an agency. Hallmark Homecare was created by Steve Everhart, founder of The Senior’s Choice, the largest and most recognizable membership network of senior care providers in the world. Utilizing resources provided by The Senior’s Choice, Hallmark Homecare is an in-home care option that brings affordability to elderly clients and their families and ensures a legal caregiver by providing insurance and taxation compliance previously unavailable at a lower price point. For more information, visit For franchise information, visit or call (888) 519-2500 (ext. 6).