We all know the experience of having too much stuff build up, filling closets and cluttering countertops. The longer you live in a place, the more stuff you get! This is especially true for older adults who may still live in the house where they raised children. Even after the kids move out, their stuff remains, gathering dust in bedroom closets or moldering in the attic.
As the end of year approaches, it's time to get rid of all that extra stuff taking up valuable space in your home. Not only does decluttering help you maximize your storage—studies have also shown that less clutter leads to an improved sense of focus, productivity and lower stress levels.
If you think you might be starting the moving processe soon, like to an exciting retirement community like Brandermill Woods, decluttering today can help save you time and heartache down the line. Moving is stressful at any age, but when you want to be thinking more about your putting game or taking up pickleball, you don’t want to have to deal with clearing 30 years of junk out of your house.
Below are a few ideas and tips to help you enjoy a welcoming and organized start this holiday season by empowering yourself with some much needed decluttering!
How to Rightsize Your Home
You might have heard of the term “downsizing” to refer to moving from a bigger family-sized house to a smaller house or apartment in retirement—something with less space to manage, perhaps a single floor to support successful aging or a convenient location near amenities and activities.
A better term to consider might be “rightsizing”—adjusting your life to suit your lifestyle. Decluttering is an important part of rightsizing, because sorting through decades-old stuff and cleaning out rooms can help you:
- Improve your mood: Have you ever noticed that you feel better after cleaning your house and operating in well-organized and orderly rooms? Decluttering helps to improve your mood.
- Experience fewer problems with allergies: It can be hard to clean well in a cluttered space which leads to a build-up of dust that oftentimes you often don’t even see. By clearing your space, you may experience fewer problems with allergies.
- Benefit your mental health: Unorganized and cluttered spaces can make things hard to find and are chaotic overall which decreases your focus and productivity. Therefore, the mental health benefits of decluttering include less stress, decreased anxiety and sharpened focus.
Where to Start with Decluttering
To get you started, here are a few tips and tricks from the team at Brandermill Woods. We have years of experience in supporting older adults and their families as they rightsize their lives and transition to the retirement they always wanted.
Five tips for decluttering during the holidays include:
1) Reconsider your gift giving. Challenge yourself to think outside the box when giving gifts this season. Go for non-tangible or more practical options that won’t add clutter. These include event tickets, gift cards, membership, subscriptions, annual passes, virtual classes and more.
2) Start small. Don’t overwhelm yourself by taking it on as a big project or considering all you have to get done. Start small and progress as you clear one drawer, area or room. Each small step will give you the momentum to keep going. Take breaks when necessary.
3) When decorating, less is more. Christmas decorations are beautiful and set the tone for the holidays, but they can also be bulky and plentiful when it comes to storage. Consider going with simpler decorations this year or repurposing what you already have instead of buying new decorations. You can never go wrong with a classic winter wonderland theme. Sometimes less is more.
4) Ask for help. Christmas already presents many opportunities for families and friends to spend more time together. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes to decluttering. This is especially helpful if you need to transport stuff or lift heavy items. You can also make it a great experience to spend quality time together by sorting through items over hot chocolate or having a family dinner afterward.
5) Find out where you can donate items. Many times we hold on to items because they’re too good to be dumped but we’re also not sure where would be the best place to donate them so we hold on to them and the clutter continues. Do the necessary research to find out where you can donate items and you’ll be more likely to work on getting them off your hands. During the holidays, a lot of organizations accept donations for the less fortunate so it’s a perfect time to get it done.
Taking the Next Step with Senior Living
It’s exciting to declutter (and destress) for the holidays, but if you are ready to take the next step and rightsize your way into a retirement community, here is a simple five-step approach to getting started:
1) Understand your new floor plan: Once you have an idea of the layout of your new place, you’d be better able to plan and decide what items will fit in the space and what may be best to give away or get rid of.
2) Start early: If you know you want to make a move, it’s best to start early even if you think you have time. A lot will be happening as you settle on your new living arrangements and adjust to changes so it’s best to get a head-start on rightsizing.
3) Tackle one room at a time: If you are clearing out an entire house, break the job into small chunks. Consider tackling bedrooms first and then moving your way through living spaces to the kitchen. Attics, basements and garages might require the most love because they tend to be where our “out of sight, out of mind” items go for many years.
4) Label items carefully: This will help you to have a clear idea of what you already have and which areas you’ve completed. When you arrive at your new place, it will also be much easier to unpack.
5) Give yourself time: Even with the excitement of moving to a new space, it can be difficult to adjust to the changes as well as the idea of getting rid of a lot of your things. Give yourself time to adjust to this new way of life and seek the support of your loved ones as necessary.
Live Clutter Free and Maintenance Free at Brandermill Woods
On campus, we have a variety of living spaces of different sizes so you’re sure to find the ideal place that fits your most treasured possessions and suits your lifestyle. We also offer complete maintenance and housekeeping services which means you can focus on truly enjoying the retirement you’ve always dreamed of. For more information or to schedule a tour of our community, contact us today!