You’ve worked hard your whole life and now comes the payoff – retirement. It’s an exciting new phase of your life without the usual daily grind and all that comes with it. Time to start thinking about what that next phase will look like – how you’ll occupy your time, what you’ll do for health coverage, adjusting to a new budget and staying active. It’s also a perfect opportunity to declutter your home! Here are some great tips for decluttering.

Make a Plan
Doing a big purge of your home can sound like a simple job, but to make things easy for yourself it’s best to create a plan. Try to map things out by room – whether that means going from largest to smallest or basement to top floor. Plan to declutter on certain days when you can dedicate your full attention to it. It’s important to take your time and not rush yourself.

Create Some Guidelines (and stick to them)
Getting attached to our stuff is totally normal. Chances are most of the items in our home have a memory or story attached to it. So, it’s important to create a set of guidelines before diving in. Make a ‘year rule’ for certain items. If you haven’t used or looked at in a certain number of years – toss it. You’ll find if you stick to your guidelines, it’ll become easier to let go of certain items.

Decide What to Do with Your Stuff
Before you start to declutter, it’s worthwhile to decide what you’re going to do with the items you’re getting rid of. There are a few options:

  • Gift – Think about friends or family members who may want the item you’re giving away
  • Donate – Local non-profits and charities are always looking for a wide variety of donations
  • Sell – Whether it’s online or with an old fashion garage sale, there’s nothing wrong with making a few bucks off of your stuff
  • Toss – If none of the other options seem to work, it’s time to toss it (in an environmentally friendly way of course)

Congratulate Yourself
Decluttering your home is an emotional process. It takes a lot to part with things that have been with you for years or even decades. You can second guess yourself and feel sad about saying goodbye. That’s why it’s so important to give yourself a pat on the back the entire way. At the end of the process do something to reward yourself for the hard work!

Retirement offers an opportunity to organize and declutter your home. If you follow these steps, you’ll be on your way to enjoying retirement clutter-free!