Declutter As You Age to Keep Moving

I recently visited my 82 year old father who is contemplating a move from frozen Michigan to somewhere closer to me and preferably a place where winter doesn’t last from November to April. In our conversation I found myself saying that I thought simplifying our home environments as we age makes good sense. If you look at it from an energy perspective, more things in your space means more work to keep them organized, in good working order, etc., more energetic conversations because the energy of everything talks, and more to move when you want to downsize because of financial necessity or because you just don’t need as much house to take care of.

Why doesn’t that happen in many cases?

  1. Attention is devoted to other priorities than the condition of the home.
  2. It’s easier to accumulate things than it is to clear them from a space. Things at rest tend to stay at rest unless there is a specific catalyst to move them.
  3. People get accustomed to the feel of their home, even if it’s cluttered in many areas, and they resist change.
  4. People think they don’t have the energy to undertake the chaos of the attic, garage, basement or any area that would benefit from clearing.
  5. People really don’t have the physical energy to move items out of their homes.
  6. People have so much stuff that they don’t know where to start and feel overwhelmed at the prospect of attempting a clearing project.
  7. People are reluctant to ask for help with projects in their home because they are embarrassed by the condition of their home, they think they should be able to do it themselves, or they were raised not to ask for help.

Over the years I’ve watched my mother regularly get rid of things. Just the other day she was clearing out her desk when I spoke to her on the phone. What a great model she has been for me! She is a constant purger. She has a place in her garage that has been identified as the give away spot. As she identifies things that she and her husband no longer need or love, they get moved there. When a pile accumulates, it’s either taken to a local donation spot or I take it to GoodWill for her. When it comes time for her to move or when she dies, dealing with her home will not be the physical and emotional nightmare that it could have been if she hadn’t always been purging.

No matter the size of your home or the overwhelming mess in your space, almost everyone has the ability to identify items that can be thrown in the trash or donated. Instead of focusing on the big picture of all that must be cleared, focus on individual individual items that clearly no longer serve you. Start in the areas where you spend the most time. Create a new habit of regularly identifying items to be released and moving them out of your house. Make it a daily process instead of an overwhelming project that never gets done. If you make clearing a constant process, over time you’ll find your space lightening up. You’ll find yourself lightening up. Then making a move of any type will be that much more feasible.

Lighten up so you are free to go where ever you desire!

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