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5 Day Decluttering Challenge!

If you’re considering downsizing, it may seem like a daunting task- which is completely understandable. Packing up a home you have lived in 20, 30, or maybe even 40 years can feel like a never-ending process. Stuff accumulates. Over the years, a combination of sentimental objects, family keepsakes, things we used ones, and too many years of tax returns begin to fill the house up. However, small steps each day can make a difference. We’ve all heard the saying that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step- and the first step to downsizing is decluttering. Once you get rid of things (and go through that “junk drawer”) your stress of downsizing will ease and you be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Here is a 5 Day Decluttering Challenge to get you started. It will only take you a couple minutes each day, and you’ll be surprised to find how fast you can declutter when you put your mind to it and when you’re focused on one task at a time.

Day 1: The Medicine Cabinet

Medical needs change as we age- the medications and the dosages. But, all too often we don’t throw away the previous prescriptions. They usually just get pushed to the back of the medicine cabinet. Well, it’s time to get rid of them!

Find out if your pharmacy has a take-back program; if not, the FDA recommends that you mix the medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with dirt, kitty litter or used coffee ground. Then place the mixture in a sealed plastic bag and throw away. Be sure to scratch out all personal information on the prescription label too.

Day 2: The Closet

Take a couple minutes to look in your closet. Discard or donate any clothes you don’t wear anymore: clothes from working days past, clothes you’ve grown out of and clothes with a spot or tear that you’re never going to get around to repairing. Here’s a tip: if you haven’t worn it in the past two years, and it’s not your wedding dress, it’s time to get rid of it.

Day 3: The Linen Closet

Today, go through your linen closets/ cabinets. Get rid of any old towels and sheets that you no longer use or are in pretty bad shape. Ripped sheets, ragged towels and stained tablecloths deserve an honorable retirement.

Day 4: The Pantry

Go through your pantry. Take it one shelf at a time. Throw away any food that has expired. Don’t forget about your spices!

Day 5: The “Junk Drawer”

Everyone has one. The “I don’t want to take the time to find a place for this” drawer. A drawer that looks like you emptied your pockets in it for 5 years. It has pens, loose change, receipts, old mail- and who knows what else. Take the time today to tackle this space. Get rid of anything that isn’t important- pens that don’t write, old receipts and the grocery list from 2015.

Mature friends by swimming pool

10 Ways to Enjoy the Summer While Beating the Heat

Mature friends by swimming pool

Summer is here and that means we start spending more time outside, but that also means that the dog days of summer are right around the corner. Be aware of the weather when planning your day, there are plenty of activities anyone can take part in whether inside or outside. It is possible for you to appreciate the summer months without having to be outside for long periods of time – if at all.

Whether you live independently or in a retirement, assisted living or memory care community, there are always opportunities to relax and appreciate summer.

Here’s a list of 10 ways you can beat the heat and enjoy the summer months:

  • Take a short walk around the property. Go early in the morning or later in the evening – and consider bringing a friend with you. Remember it doesn’t have to be a long walk, keep it short and bring along something cool to drink.
  • Purchase a new book specifically for the summer. Reading a themed novel can make you feel like you’re at the beach or someplace exotic. There are many great books set in places like Cape Cod, Nantucket or the exquisite beaches of the Caribbean.
  • Do you enjoy a good puzzle? If so, pick a summer themed puzzle – one with beaches, rivers or lake houses. Puzzles can conjure up happy memories of summers past while making you appreciate the beautiful landscapes that summer brings.
  • Don’t forget to join in the fun! Does your community have an events calendar? Set some goals and try to participate in two or three pre-planned community activities each month. Joining in is easier if something is already planned, and chances are many of the activities will be summer themed.
  • Feel like staying in? That’s okay, then sit by the window and feel the sun on your face. If you’ve been cooped up inside, sometimes a simple seat by the window feeling the warmth on your skin is all you need to feel relaxed and invigorated.
  • Just like a good puzzle, board games can ease your boredom. Grab one of those board games that are collecting dust. Or, grab a deck of cards and some friends and sit back, relax and show off your competitive side. You can also combine a board game with number 5 above…and put the table by a window so you can feel the warmth on your skin!
  • Tired from your morning walk or community event? Then take a cat nap. Sometimes a 45-90-minute nap in between activities is the best way to get through your day. This is also something you can enjoy any time of the year – so never underestimate the power of a nap.
  • Don’t forget an art project. Make a wreath or some type of hanging art for your door. Use bright colors, flowers and ribbon to celebrate summer. Every time you open your door you’ll be reminded to enjoy the warmer weather while it lasts!
  • On cooler summer days, try bird watching. It’s the perfect time of the year to sit back and enjoy hearing the sweet songs of birds and the simple smell of summer. Take a few moments to enjoy nature at its finest. Remember…avoid being outside during the hottest times of the day, consider early morning or later in the evening.
  • Finally, be a kid again and try a coloring activity. Yes, we said it – color a picture or two! Adult coloring books are popular these days. They promote relaxation and down time, while creating a beautiful piece of artwork. You can find simple coloring pages or more complex books at retail and grocery stores all over. Whatever you coloring book you choose, consider bright colors to help you get in the summer mood. Plus, adult coloring books promote relaxation and can relieve stress.

No matter what you choose to do this summer, we hope it’s fun and relaxing! Just remember not to overdo your time outside, and as the weather becomes hotter, be sure to spend smaller amounts of time in the great outdoors. Finally, don’t forget sunblock, Chap Stick and ice cold water, just in case.

Meet Grayson Rattew

This week, we would like for you to meet SpringShire Sales Associate, Grayson Rattew.

Grayson began working with SpringShire in October of 2016. A Rocky Mount native, she was excited to be a part of the team offering a high-quality, active senior living community to the older population of those currently living or interested in moving to eastern North Carolina.

“Since I was a young girl I have thrived on being involved in my town. Being a part of SpringShire gives me the chance to grow a new community within Greenville. And, when you invest in the growth of your community it thrives. I am proud to be a part of a project that will do just that!” says Grayson. 

Grayson has lived in Greenville for almost 20 years and is amazed at the positive changes that have taken place since she graduated from East Carolina University.  She feels that SpringShire will fill an important need for housing among active seniors, allowing many the opportunity to remain here in their older years and provide an opportunity for some to return to the area to be closer to family and friends.

Coming from a background in marketing and training, Grayson has a strong sense of how people make decisions and handle change.

“I recognize the idea of moving to a retirement community can be daunting,” says Grayson. “We work with folks at every stage of making this decision and support them throughout the process.”

Apart from being a Sales Associate at SpringShire, Grayson is a mother to a wonderful three-year- old son who keeps her young and active.  She likes to take him with her when she volunteers, and they both enjoy being outdoors at the local parks and festivals. Currently she is teaching him to swim. Grayson’s volunteer work includes being the Community Service Director for the Greenville Noon Rotary Club and serving as a volunteer with the Pitt Aging Coalition. 

When she’s not working and volunteering, Grayson loves to travel. Whether it is to the mountains for hiking trips or to her family’s place at the river, laying on the pier or splashing around in the water, she makes sure to spend as much time as she can with the people she loves.


Happy Independence Day! American Flag on wooden board.

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day! American Flag on wooden board.

As we take a moment to celebrate Independence, let’s stop and reflect on the term – Independent. It’s a term we hear so often in the senior living world.

What does it mean to live independently? Does the definition mean that you are able to care for yourself, your loved ones and your home? Does the term mean that you do not need to live with any assistance?

We submit that independence means you have total control over your own life. This would mean that you control the way you want to live. For example, you’re perfectly capable of cleaning your own bathroom and washing your own car. However, when you plan your day, you carefully choose how to spend your waking hours – especially when you take in consideration work life, family life and civic responsibility.

You may not wish to spend hours taking care of the bathroom and washing the car, so you hire people to do those things for you so you can spend time volunteering with a favorite organization or spending time with family and friends. 

An independent person has the ability to decide how to spend each day. In the morning, do you find yourself making a “to do list” for the day? Perhaps some items on that list may include:

  • Clean the kitchen
  • Do the laundry
  • Go grocery shopping
  • Pay bills
  • Mow the lawn

What if that list looked more like this:

  • Coffee with friends
  • A trip to the gym
  • Lunch with grandkids
  • Book Club meeting
  • Nature walk

The second list sounds like a vacation! What kind of a day would you look forward to having?

Many people are fearful of living in a community because it may “take away your independence.” Community living can do just the opposite. When those “must-do’s” are taken off your list, you can focus more time on the “wish I could do’s.” People that live in communities find themselves living a very independent life because they are not calling on friends, neighbors and loved ones to help them with some of life’s challenges. The people who are living in communities find themselves much more fulfilled in life as opposed to when they were living in their own homes. Why do people wait for this lifestyle change?

Our founding fathers (and mothers) recognized the value of timing. When they were considering the revolution against Britain, they certainly weren’t going to wait until they “had” to do something and wait to put the decision on the back burner. These people recognized that doing something for the present would have an infinite impact on the future.

If you’ve been considering your own independence and are looking for options in active retirement living, learn more about SpringShire by visiting SpringShire.org 24/7. We’re out of the office spending time with our families today, but we’ll be back tomorrow morning. We look forward to sharing what independent living at SpringShire is all about, so call at (252) 317-2303.

African American Grandparents With Grandchildren Relaxing In Park

What Not to Say to Your Grandkids – 5 “Oops” Comments

African American Grandparents With Grandchildren Relaxing In Park

The bond between grandparents and their grandkids is very special. Keep that bond strong by avoiding these five “oops” comments and try saying something else instead.

Don’t Say: “Your brother is better at [fill in the blank] than you.”

This comment can be made completely innocently. You may just be trying to motivate your grandkid to do better or try harder. However, pointing out that one grandchild may be better at [sports] isn’t going to make the other an all-star athlete.

Instead, encourage your grandkids and remind them of the things they are good at. If your grandkid asks if their brother is a better athlete than them, respond by emphasizing their strengths. Grandparents are the best cheerleaders.

Do Say: “Your brother is an amazing athlete, just like you’re an amazing student.”

Don’t Say: “You’re my favorite.”

This comment is a BIG no-no. While you may not have said these words exactly, be careful of things you say that may sound like this – even if it is meant as a playful joke. Your grandkids will talk to one another and you want them to be able to trust everything you say.

Do Say: “All of my grandkids are number one to me!”

Don’t Say: “Have you ever heard about the time your dad…”

Be careful when sharing stories about your children’s youthful mishaps with grandkids. Maybe you have used one of these stories to bond with your grandkids or teach them an invaluable lesson. However, telling these stories can have the unintended effect of undermining your children’s authority with their kids.

Instead, tell a story from your childhood. You will be able to give your perspective while your grandkids get the chance to learn more about you.

Do Say: “Have I ever told you about the time I…”

Don’t Say: “Why haven’t you worn the shirt I gave you?”

Chances are you’ve raised your kids to accept gifts with enthusiasm and to give thanks politely…and chances are your kids have passed those same traits onto your grandkids. If you haven’t seen your granddaughter wear the shirt you gave her last Christmas, it may not have been her style. She’s just being polite and it won’t do your relationship any good to ask about it.

Instead, spend time with your grandkids to discover their style and what they like, so next Christmas you can give them the perfect gift. *Gift cards are a good idea if you’re unsure.

Do say: Nothing.

Don’t Say: “You’ll grow out of this stage.”

No doubt your grandkids will go through tough situations – the awkward middle school years, heartbreaks and embarrassing moments. Make sure that you are there to listen and be there for them. Don’t say things that may fall flat and seem as though you are making light of situation that seems like the “end of the world” to them.

Do Say: “I’m always here to talk about anything.”

Meet Seth Talley

This week, we would like you to meet SpringShire Sales Associate, Seth Talley.

At the start of 2016, as Springshire relaunched its sales campaign, Seth joined the sales and marketing team to be a part of the sales success of this active retirement community.

Seth notes, “I was impressed with the Ammons family’s dedication to making SpringShire a reality and wanted to be a part of this impressive organization.”

Seth, an eastern North Carolina native, lives in Washington, NC with his wife and has two grown sons.