(The BestOfLife article with tips on how to declutter your home is here: https://bestlifeonline.com/declutter/)
Less is more. But that’s not just a saying these days. It’s become a legitimate social movement. It’s called minimalism.
The concept of simplifying, decluttering, getting rid of stuff, can be appealing to a lot of people. But it turns out that it can be particularly beneficial to people with cognitive impairment.
And that’s what I want to talk about today.
Hi, I’m Tony Dearing, of GoCogno.com, the website for people with mild cognitive impairment.
Do you know who the real experts on MCI are? The people who have it. My very favorite videos are the ones featuring people with MCI.
That’s how I got clued in to this concept of minimalism. I had heard of it, but I wasn’t aware of how it was emerging as concept to benefit people with cognitive loss.
But I belong to a private Facebook group for people with MCI, and one day recently, a discussion started when one of the members posted this:
“Funny, coming from a guy. I think I have too many clothes,” he said. “I have an awful time trying to make decisions as to what to wear. Anyone else at that point?”
Right away, other started chiming in.
“Omg ! Yes! I thought it was just me. I’ve been thinking of donating a lot of clothes because I can never decide what to wear.”
It quickly became clear that others weren’t thinking of getting rid of stuff. They were actually doing it.
One woman said she had just decided to have a big clear out and give some stuff to local charity shop.
“I’ve become interested in minimalism. I think decluttering my cupboards, drawers, home in general will help to declutter my mind a bit.”
At that point, I thought, Hmmm. I think there’s something to this.
S0 I did a little research online and I quickly found articles like this one on Forbes. It talks about the surprising health benefits of minimalism, including for people with autism or dementia.
Professor Jon Pynoos of USC said: “Research has shown that removing clutter can reduce confusion and disorientation among older adults with dementia.”
Now, of course, online it’s always about dementia. In the digital world, MCI remains the red-headed stepchild of cognition. If an article addresses MCI at all, it will barely mention it.
But what can benefit people with dementia can often benefit people with MCI as well, and this is clearly one of those cases.
We know that because people with MCI are already doing it, and finding it beneficial in their lives.
“I’m also interested in minimalism. Have already been through our whole house several times. I love how it calms my mind!”
“Me too! I got rid of like half my clothes a couple of years ago. Now I have less clothes to choose from, and I think it made it a little easier.”
So maybe this is something to consider. It might make living with MCI just a little easier for you too.
If you’re interested in learning more about minimizing and de-cluttering your home, there are a ton of fantastic tips in a post on BestOfLife.com.
This is the tip I loved. It said, ask yourself, what if your home burned down? What would you actually replace? And then use that list to “build” a home by gradually paring down to the things you really need.
At the very least, I would encourage you to try that one. But there are plenty of other good tips, so check it out. Here’s the link to the article: https://bestlifeonline.com/declutter/
I hope you find something helpful there, and I look forward to seeing you again next week. Until then, as always, be kind to your mind.
P.S. — I occasionally refer to a private Facebook group I belong to for people with MCI. If you’re not in the group, you are welcome to join us. Use the following link to access the page. When you get there, ask to join, answer the three questions, and we’ll be glad to welcome you in. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1558323031164795/