We are in fairly new territory regarding the ageing journey & why as we get further into our third age many of us (1) fail to clear items & (2) fail to tidy up. This can lead to a build up of stuff in our homes. Major challenges are –
- How to keep the memories, not the stuff
- How to let stuff go (edit)
Each decade we live we have had the opportunity to accumulate more & more stuff – what I call Lots of Life Stuff (LOLs). It does not mean that it is hoarding disorder but failure to clear, edit & tidy up may lead to a build up of items that can become a “hoard”.
Our 2nd age (young adult to retirement) tends to be our accumulation life phase – where we are busy raising families and with our careers. Our 3rd age (when we retire from work) is usually highlighted by requiring less – but we don’t always understand this transition & how wonderful & freeing it can be!
I am seeing many clients –
- who have not changed their habits (i.e. are still buying food as if they were cooking for a large family)
- who are living in homes tightly packed with items as during their 60’s & early 70’s they “failed to clear the unnecessary or no longer useful or functioning items”. Their rooms are crammed with furniture, clothes, etc.
Should they experience cognitive or physical deterioration, they are no longer able to tackle sorting their stuff or making the necessary decisions. It is very unsettling for them and their families.
We live in an affluent materialistic society & need to start understanding how to prepare for our later years by developing good habits to manage our stuff.
It may not be easy & the key is to understand our personal relationship to our stuff & why we keep stuff.
Downsizing to a smaller home is often the opportunity to make these tough decisions, but for those who cannot face downsizing & want to stay in their family home forever, it is extremely important that you have good “stuff habits” to ensure your home is safe, healthy & comfortable.
Reality check: For most people in their 3rd age, getting organised is about letting stuff go.
remember “enjoy it or farewell it (EFIT)”…
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.