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More decluttering tips for seniors

Golden Living

If you didn’t catch last week’s Golden Living column, introducing you to the joys of mid-winter decluttering, fear not. You’ve come to the second in the Office for the Aging’s (OFA) two-part series on improving your home’s safety and livability. You’ve looked around your cluttered home and you’re ready to start cleaning — but where to start?

We turned to Colleen Ashe of Red Hook-based Ashe Organizing Solutions (www.asheorganizing.com), for some tips on getting started:

• Set a timer for 15 minutes and select a drawer, countertop or shelf to tackle;

• Sort the items (Keep, Toss/Recycle, Sell/Donate), putting similar items together if you’re keeping them;

• Decide what should stay in the space, and remove everything else that doesn’t belong; and

• When the timer rings, feel free to stop the process.

Small steps taken over time can lead to big changes.

What can you sort in just 15 minutes?

If a task or project just seems too big, think about recruiting friends, family or even a professional organizer to help jump start your project.

Organizing has an additional benefit: You could find things you thought you had lost but were only misplaced. It could even be something truly valuable like a long-lost wedding ring that migrated to the back corner of a junk drawer, but it’s more likely to be something you can easily dispose of. Say goodbye to that stack of utility bills from 1967.

Start with the easiest things first

If you’re stumped as to where to begin, start with anything that’s expired: food, makeup and especially medications.

Dutchess County’s Prescription Medication Drop Box Program provides safe drop-off locations where you can anonymously dispose of expired, unwanted and unused prescription medications and controlled substances, including inhalers, ointments and over-the-counter medicines. Hazardous materials and sharps/needles are not accepted.

The following drop-off points are open 24/7:

• City of Beacon Police, 1 Municipal Plaza;

• Dutchess County Law Enforcement Center, 108 Parker Ave., Poughkeepsie;

• East Fishkill Police, 2468 Route 52, Hopewell Junction;

• Hyde Park Police, Cardinal Road;

• New York State Police, Troop K Headquarters, 2541 Route 44, Salt Point;

• Town of Poughkeepsie Police, 19 Tucker Drive;

• Wappingers Falls Police, 2628 South Ave., Wappingers Falls.

Four other locations are open for limited hours:

• Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, Pawling Substation, 9 Memorial Drive; call 845-486-3800 for assistance;

• Millerton Police, 5933 North Elm Ave., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. through 4 p.m., Saturday, noon through midnight; Sunday, 4 p.m. through midnight; or call 518-789-3115;

• Red Hook Police, 7467 South Broadway, 8 a.m. through midnight, daily;

• Rhinebeck Police, 76 East Market St., 7 a.m. through 11 p.m., daily;

In addition, there are National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events in April and October, and the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and Dutchess County Stop-DWI will collect unwanted medications at all 12 OFA Senior Picnics this summer.

Speaking of the picnics…

We’re working on the Summer 2022 picnic schedule already. By springtime we hope to know whether we can proceed with traditional sit-down picnics, or whether pandemic necessities will require drive-through picnics. Stay tuned!

Golden Living is prepared by Dutchess County OFA Director Todd N. Tancredi, who can be reached at 845-486-2555, ofa@dutchessny.gov or via the OFA website at www.dutchessny.gov/aging.

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