Downsizing can be a practical and emotional minefield – you’ve gathered a lifetime’s worth of possessions and don’t know quite where to start. So here are some tips from brighterkind on how to make decluttering less daunting.
1. DECLUTTER A LITTLE BIT AT A TIME AND GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME
The first decluttering tip in later life is to give yourself plenty of time. Planning to tackle the work in bite sized pieces, maybe for 20 minutes a day or one day a week, makes it less overwhelming.
2. TAKE DECISIONS AND SORT ITEMS INTO DEFINED BOXES
It can be helpful to have boxes for each of the following categories to add things to as you declutter - Keep, Throw Away, Sell, Donate and Give to Family.
3. GIVE YOURSELF A DECLUTTERING SCHEDULE
Decluttering is something that’s easy to put off, so set a schedule to follow to get the work done.
4. ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT
If you are feeling overwhelmed don’t be afraid to ask for help from a family member or friend.
Another great resource are local organisations that will pick up donations and things you are decluttering right from your home.
5. MAKE PRACTICAL DECISIONS FIRST BY STARTING IN AN EASIER SPACE
Start by dealing with easier spaces like kitchens and bathrooms that need practical decisions that don’t carry emotional attachments.
Moving into a care home will likely be a big lifestyle change you’ll need to adapt to, but think of it as moving into a hotel where all you need are your clothes and personal essentials - you’ll soon be on the right track.
6. TACKLE ONE SPACE AT A TIME
Focus on one room at a time and complete that area before moving on. Then break each room down into little steps you can work on one at a time such as a drawer or a cupboard.
7. RECOGNISE LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Another important aspect to take into account when decluttering is that you’ve likely had some lifestyle changes in your retirement years. You may no longer need formal and work clothes or sports equipment, dancing shoes, to name but a few... so these can simply go.