Decluttering for Retirement

Declutter for RetirementDecluttering for Retirement is not getting rid of all your possessions, it is about downsizing and making it a lot easier when the time comes to moving or downsizing to a smaller house, flat or retirement village.

As the homes we live in are larger than ever before, and this translates to a compulsion to fill our space. In time, the average person accumulates a staggering number of possessions, and many of us form attachments to these items. But are they actually holding us back? And what would life look like if we freed ourselves of many of these material bonds?

Why Should Seniors Declutter?

By sorting, considering, decluttering, and organizing our possessions, we can effectively evaluate what we have and determine what we both want and need to take with us into our future for the next stage of life. Anytime is a great time to do this, but it is especially valuable for seniors to embark on a decluttering journey.

There are a number of reasons why seniors should declutter:

  1. Downsizing: many seniors transition to a smaller home. In this circumstance, decluttering is essential so as to comply with one’s new space and its limitations.
  2. Mobility: less stuff means more space. More space means less chance of trips, falls, and spills – which reduces risks to your mobility and independence. It also enables you to use mobility aids like walkers in your own home if necessary as you get older.
  3. Freedom: having fewer material objects lets you focus more on the joy of living – there is less to look after, less to maintain, less to worry about, and less to tie you down.
  4. If memory impairment of any kind affects you in your older age, having a decluttered home makes life much less confusing.

Benefits of decluttering include:

  • Sell your home and create cash when you purchase something smaller.
  • Stress less – clutter is overwhelming and creates feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and even guilt.
  • Live healthier with fewer allergens and items to collect dust.decluttering a parents house
  • Too many people have to face the task of decluttering a parent’s house in the aftermath of their passing. It’s a huge, overwhelming job and is made even more difficult when it is undertaken while grieving. Yet it can be mitigated to a large extent when seniors actively play a role much earlier in downsizing and decluttering for retirement.

At What Age Should Seniors Downsize?

This depends on a number of factors. Are you looking to move into a retirement village or simply for a smaller home? Do you or your partner expect to require care in the foreseeable future?

Many people seek to downsize when they retire; some choose to do so earlier when they become empty nesters. Some move to be closer to family, to move to a warmer climate for a more rewarding lifestyle outside the city, while only a relatively small percentage elect to move to a retirement living community.

There are so many benefits to downsizing, decluttering, and opening up space to enjoy a new chapter. For many, doing so earlier in retirement is better than later, in terms of making the most of the decision to do so. Having less and occupying a smaller home presents real opportunities to get out and enjoy just living – including travel, socializing, and relaxing with fewer obligations.

decluttering tips for seniors Declutter Tips for seniors

  • Set time aside to declutter.
  • If you wish to, seek help from trusted friends or family members.
  • Focus on one area at a time – your garage, your wardrobe, your pantry, your dining room, etc.
  • Consider your new space or your new vision for your existing space – what works for it?
  • Discard everything that is broken, damaged, unfixable, or unwanted.
  • Sell or donate good quality goods you no longer want to charity.
  • Don’t be tempted to pass all your unwanted stuff onto your family members unless they actively want it – they are not obliged to give your things a home.
  • Be positive. Think about the exciting chapter ahead rather than focusing on the past and what you’re leaving behind.

Decluttering for retirement is not about emptying a home and throwing away all one’s possessions. It’s not about allowing one’s family to take what you love away. It is, instead, a mindful process undertaken with intent. It means opening the door to a fresh new chapter of life, freeing up not only physical space but also the mind and the soul. Saying goodbye to unwanted, unnecessary possessions is incredibly liberating. Isn’t it time to reset for a fresh start?