Are you an active retiree, far too busy to declutter or downsize?
Then let me ask you a question or six.
- Is your house a storage unit for your children or other relatives?
- Have you inherited other people’s stuff?
- Do you have hard-to-reach cupboards and no idea of their contents?
- Are there drawers in your house that have not been opened for five years?
- Do you look at the clutter in your garage, and think “I’ll get round to it”?
- If all the old photos in your possession were stacked up, one on top of the other, how high would the pile go?
Now in a perfect world, you would remain an active senior far into the future. A busy volunteer or on trip around the Australia. Improving your golf swing, your salsa dancing or your Pickle Ball technique. But poor health or just ageing can get in the way. Suddenly those four bedrooms are just too much to keep dust free and it gets harder to keep up with the garden. Overwhelmed by the challenge ahead.
So whilst you are being that active senior pursuing your hobbies and interests, I suggest you actively pursue decluttering as well, whatever the eventual vision is for your future.
Whether still in your home, in a retirement village, or, in a granny flat with your family.
Even as some Americans chose to do, as a permanent passenger on a cruise ship.
Start now and start small.
A cupboard here, a drawer there. Get the family involved and ask them to take care of their high school memorabilia or the textbooks from Uni. Give them a deadline and consequences as you did when they were growing up. “If it isn’t out of the house in 6 months I will feel free to move it on as I see fit!”
Don’t presume. Ask who actually wants Aunty Maisie’s china collection. If no one, then ditch the Corelle dinnerware from Big W and the mismatched plates. Use the beautiful stuff yourself. Donate it to a charity who will sell it on to raise money or take it to an auction house for a bit extra cash to fund your active retired lifestyle.
Hire a Professional Organiser.
Someone like me to work alongside you, once or twice a month, once or twice a season. We have lots of strategies for disposing of excess possessions and better organising your space.
Suddenly your house and garden are no longer overwhelming. The day you do decide to downsize, you won’t have the whole process ahead of you. A move somewhere else then becomes relatively seamless because you have actively made choices.
And that seemingly random question about photos?
Just a recent online search of mine. A commercial service that saves your paper photos to a JPEG digital image can cost around 25 cents a photo. 100 photos then, cost $25.00. That is a pile 3cm high. You work it out and get photo culling.