You’ve spent a lifetime gathering personal belongings and acquiring the things that make your house a home. It’s hard to imagine not using them or having access to them when you need them. How many of these things have gone unused and unnoticed for a while?
As we get older, we move past the accumulation stage of life and simply settle into living with what we have. Eventually what we have may become more than we will ever need again. It might be time to de-clutter and downsize. The more you hold on to, the more you leave behind for those you love to deal with. That’s not a very smart move.
Aside from heirlooms and assets of value, our homes are generally filled with things that no longer serve us or we simply don’t need. At some point it makes sense to clear things out and start to streamline. Here are some practical dos and don’ts for de-cluttering your life to make things easier for your family.
Do- Keep things of value: Your antiques, art, and family heirlooms have value. Don’t discard or give away items that are worth something financially or emotionally.
Do- Sort through closets, drawers, and storage: These spaces tend to become black holes that contain unused and unimportant items. Tackle these spaces and reduce, recycle, and donate items you are no longer using.
Do- Enlist your family’s help: Ask your family to help you determine what is worth keeping and what is worth letting go of. You don’t have to accept every recommendation they have but their impartial advice might help you make decisions easier.
Don’t- Overthink things: People hold onto things for a lot of weird reasons. Don’t overthink the usefulness of something you haven’t looked for in years. If you aren’t actively using an item, consider getting rid of it.
Don’t- Forget others need donations: Many of the things you aren’t using could benefit someone else. From a homeless shelter to helping a woman back on her feet, your unused items could help give someone else a brand new start. Be willing to donate gently used items to make a difference.
Don’t- Be afraid: De-cluttering isn’t about losing your things. It’s about taking responsible action to streamline your life and be aware of how much you own and if it serves you. Don’t be afraid of letting go and clearing up space for easier living and a clutter-free home.
Part of prepping for the later part of life is clearing out the clutter. Making things easier for the people who will have to manage your space for you after you are gone is kind and responsible. Do your part to de-clutter and get rid of the items that no longer have value or serve your needs.