Moving to a retirement community is about making your life easier, not more complicated. Typically, when you move into a retirement community you are downsizing your home. There’s no longer a need to worry about children living with you. Cutting back on space means cutting back on ”things”. This is a great time to really examine what you have and what you don’t want or need anymore.

If you turn on Netflix, you’ll find a dozen or so documentaries on minimalist living or decluttering. Last summer, the big focus was on Marie Kondo. You know the woman we’re talking about. If it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. That’s her! What does it really mean though to declutter and adopt a more minimalist lifestyle and can it really improve your life?

Oddly enough, if you Google “minimalism,” which is what decluttering is,  you’ll find millions of articles which is ironic given the definition of the word. Minimalism is defined by its spareness and simplicity. While we’re not advocating for stripping away the personal elements that make you, you, we are suggesting, you probably have more personal belongings than you realize.

The idea is that one could get rid of excessive things and live your life based on experiences. As we get older, we realize we have amassed a ton of items, half of which we probably no longer need. We have entire homes filled with objects given to us from relatives, trophies from our children (who now have children of their own), jackets we haven’t worn in decades, etc. This is about being intentional about the things we do keep in our home. Do you really need those unidentifiable cords in the junk drawer? Probably not. Do you really want to take your junk drawer with you when you move?

The added benefit of decluttering your excess possessions is there is less chance of injury. According to the CDC, every 12 seconds someone over the age of 64 falls and lands in the emergency room. When you declutter, you reduce the risk of injury from falling by removing things that can be considered obstacles.

Tackle one room at a time or even one drawer at a time. Start slow and decide what it is you want out. The key is to declutter and then resist the urge to fill the space again!. Maybe try giving your daughter your great-aunt’s doily collection if it has sentimental value.

Enjoy your new clutter-free space!