Downsizing is often associated with retirement, and the process of decluttering your home and life can be more than intimidating. You’ve likely spent decades accumulating items that have some sentimental appeal and other doodads that are supposed to come in handy at some point. What are you supposed to do with all that stuff? 

The good news is that organizing your home as you near retirement can be a positive process. You get to relive some of those positive memories and make room for the next exciting phase of your life. 

Still not sure where or how to start? Here are a few steps to follow that can get you on the right track. 

Step 1: Consider the Purpose and Benefits of Each Item

Downsizing is bound to be a depressing process if you have the attitude that you’re heading straight for an assisted living facility. Instead, think about it as a step towards a new lifestyle that is simpler and less cluttered. 

Large family homes generally have more rooms to clean, more systems to maintain, and bigger lawns to take care of. When you downsize, you also get to scale back on some of this work and make more time to enjoy life. 

Step 2: Sift and Sort in Stages

A common mistake that people make is leaving downsizing to the last minute or trying to do it all in one sitting. This is bound to be overwhelming. 

Instead, break the process up to make it more manageable. Choose a room to do each week or only commit a few hours a day to the project. 

When you organize, create several piles: things to sell, things to donate, things to toss out, things to keep, and things to pass along to children or other loved ones. If you can’t decide, create a pile for that, too. 

Step 3: Hold Onto the Memories

Getting ready for retirement doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything you hold near and dear. Make sure you hold onto your favorite pieces of furniture, provided you will use them and not stuff them in storage. As long as you are making practical decisions about your stuff, you’ll still come away with plenty of memories. 

Step 4: Take Time to Process Emotions

Downsizing can bring up a lot of emotions that you might not have expected. There’s nothing wrong with shedding a few tears while you look through baby or wedding albums. Adult children might also become resentful if you toss out their first-grade artwork or sell their childhood home. Take your time, and you won’t feel as overwhelmed with this important process. 

Step 5: Celebrate Your Success

Sorting through everything can be exhausting work that goes on for months. When you finally get through it, take some time to celebrate your accomplishment. Set aside a few dollars that you earned from those yard sales for a nice dinner out and begin planning for the next phase of your life. 

Considering a Retirement Home in Coastal North Carolina?

If you’re getting ready for retirement, one of the things you’re probably thinking about is your ideal retirement destination and home. Coastal North Carolina has plenty to offer retirees, including some of the most favorable home prices and cost of living conditions imaginable. 

At Creekmore Realty, we can help you explore your options and give you more information about the area. Chris Creekmore is an experienced real estate agent that specializes in relocation and second home purchases in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help make your retirement dreams a reality.