5 tips to make downsizing in retirement easy

May 14, 2020

When you retire, moving into a smaller house or apartment is the ultimate time to to downsize. Just think of all those things you’ve collected over the years. While some pieces may hold sentimental value, many of our knickknacks have simply outlived their purpose. A smaller home means there’s less to look after – but only if it’s clutter-free from the start.

Although it can be difficult sorting through your various bits and pieces, think of downsizing as the key to a happy retirement. By embracing an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ philosophy, you’ll be in the right headspace to tackle this spring clean with gusto, ready for your fresh start.

But how can you start? Many people who’ve moved into smaller homes in Retirement Living and Aged Care communities have found the KonMari Method of de-cluttering a great place to start. Developed by Marie Kondo, author of the best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, this method encourages people to keep only those things that speak to the heart.

While this may sound a little ‘new age’, it’s really just about discarding items that have outlived their usefulness. The golden rules of tidying according to the KonMari Method are:

  • Commit yourself to tidying up
    Make a day and time to start and stick to it.
  • Imagine your ideal lifestyle
    Have a clear picture in your mind of how you want your new home to look and feel.
  • Tidy by category, not by location
    For example, rather than sort through your entire living room, concentrate only on your books, first.
  • Ask yourself if the item “sparks joy”
    Apart from essential items, keep only those things that you genuinely love.
  • Finish discarding first
    Before re-organising or packing things you want to keep, get rid of everything you dont want to keep.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? Following these principles can make it easier to tackle the practical side of downsizing without (too much) sentimentality.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors, please consult your own legal or financial advisors before making any decisions.

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