For anyone in their third age, it is more complicated because we have lived longer and have lots of items that reflect fond memories, friends and special times.
- Over the years, more rooms and storage may have become available (as children have left the nest) and we tend to expand into available space – lots of rooms makes it easy to hang on to items and thus bad habits develop, i.e. “failure to clear”. Eventually the space fills up.
- It can be further compounded by family inheritances and loss of loved ones. After the loss of a loved one (parent, sibling), many just box up their possessions intending to sort through when it seems easier – but years pass and dealing with the boxes becomes more daunting.
Often when I meet with clients they tell me they have spent hours organising their stuff, but accomplish little. (Moving stuff around will accomplish little if there is too much stuff!)
The first step is acknowledge your “level of stuff” and look for a way to move forward to achieve what YOU want.
- Small steps are OK.
- Assess your habits and the origins of your stuff.
- How much do you really need to make you happy?
- If you need assistance to get on track, don’t be afraid to get help.
One of the biggest roadblocks is often the perceived value of items – “it cost a lot”, “I want to sell it”, “it’s too good to give to charity”.
Yes some items are valuable, but your time and energy are also valuable. Consider –
- were the items bought as an investment or were they purchased to be enjoyed
- for most items, the moment you purchased them, their value decreased or disappeared
- are you hanging on to something because you spent good money on it
- if you can sell items, that is a bonus, but it can be time intensive, so be realistic about what you can achieve
Your stuff didn’t build up in one day, so it may take some time to get under control.
People often put off starting to declutter because they don’t know where to start. My answer, anywhere you are comfortable starting is a good place to start.
One last tip: Have an “exit spot” in your home for items you are letting go of & then action them quickly. For me this is near my front door. I remove items asap. Items for charity I put in my car or arrange a charity pickup.
Bit by bit your “space” will reappear
remember “love it or let it go”…
Based in Balwyn North, Vic, I have sorted 100’s of homes & helped 100’s of clients. I am an expert member of the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers & have achieved certificates in Chronic Disorganisation, Aging, Life Transitions, ADD & Hoarding from the Institute of Challenging Disorganization (USA). I regularly speak about decuttering, downsizing & letting stuff go.