Decluttering for Seniors: How to Simplify Life Transitions

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If you’re like my mother, you may have all sorts of trinkets around your house memorabilia, collectibles, gadgets- you name it. You may know where everything is, or you may be like my mother who could spend hours on end searching for pens, nail clippers, envelopes and screws.

One afternoon I had enough. I insisted we declutter and organize her house from top to bottom. And while it took a lot of convincing (and possibly bribery), she was very pleased with the results!

I personally have a love/hate relationship with decluttering. I hate the process but love how my space looks and how great I feel afterwards. It can be an emotional experience (it was for my mama), but the results can be well worth it. 

Did you know there are mental and physical benefits to downsizing and decluttering?

Related: Simplify Your Life With This Flowchart

Yep! It may not always feel like it, but the clutter around you can be a stressor. If your space is cluttered, your mind can be too. 

Getting rid of unnecessary belongings and items that don’t mean much to you anymore can make you happier, sharper and more productive. That’s why decluttering can be important to your mental and physical health. 

As opposed to clutter, a neat environment can help to calm your senses.  An organized room can clear your mind, and it can even help you sleep better at night. Seeing your items neatly arranged subconsciously signals your mental state to follow. 

Tidying up your space can inspire you to make other positive changes in your life such as eating healthier, getting more active or cleaning more often.

Decluttering or downsizing can also make your life simpler by saving you time, money and space.  

Downsizing, particularly, could save you money on house insurance, utility bills, rent/mortgage and even property taxes. Fewer square footage means you won’t have to worry as much about property maintenance and cleaning. You can also take longer vacations without stressing about things like mowing your lawn, cutting your grass, or shoveling snow. 

Another advantage to decluttering is that once you do, you’ll know exactly where everything is, and you’ll spend a lot less time searching for things. I no longer have to help my mom on her tireless searches. We both now know where every item lives, and that’s an awesome feeling. 

You might even find things you never knew you had and your pockets will thank you! I don’t know about you, but nothing irks me more than buying something only to find several versions of the same item in my junk drawer

That’s why I’ve put together a list of some of the best tips and tricks to help you. Try these best practices the next time you’re considering downsizing or decluttering your home:

  • If it’s difficult for you to declutter on your own, you can hire help. There are many businesses that specialize in decluttering and can help you downsize effectively. If that’s not ideal for you, recruit family members! It’s probably more cost-effective and it’s a great time to bond with loved ones. 
  • Pass down belongings you really don’t want to throw away on to your children or grandchildren. 
  • You might also find comfort in donating your items to charity. Many organizations provide donation bins for quick and easy drop offs. 
  • Once you declutter, only keep the things you really cherish, and buy only the things you really need. Otherwise, your space will clutter again quickly if you don’t. 
  • If you’re downsizing, explore community events and get to know your neighbors. Embrace the change- it’s a fresh start! 

You can also try these great tips by tidying expert Marie Kondo:

  • Gather all of your pieces of clothing and put them in a large pile. One by one, look at each piece of clothing and decide if the item instantly sparks joy. If it doesn’t, toss it or donate it. 
  • Give away books you don’t plan on re-reading.
  • Sort and store tools, electronics, cosmetics by category. Throw away unnecessary tubes, bottles and boxes. 
  • If you have similar versions of a photo, consider keeping just one copy of each, and give the extra photos to family members.
  • Organize and divide your papers and documents into categories to determine what should stay and what should go. You can even scan important papers and photos and store them electronically. You’ll save space and you can still cherish the memories. 
  • Boxes will become your best friend in the decluttering process. Group and label boxes by category, and don’t throw a bunch of miscellaneous items into a box together. Otherwise, unpacking will be unproductive and tedious.

Simplifying your life isn’t always easy, but it can be an effective way to reduce stress. Here are 10 additional ways you can reduce stress in your life.

Now that you’ve got a few tricks up your sleeve, strip the clutter from your life and create that stress-free space you’ve been longing for. 

Author Bio: Christian Worstell is a freelance writer living in Raleigh, NC. He enjoys writing about health and lifestyle topics and spends what little free time he has on the golf course.

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