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Downsizing after Retirement is a Pain, but Here’s How You Can Go About It

Retirement needs extensive planning, and it is not just finances. Without proper plans for this next phase of life, chances are you could have erratic routines, spend more time at home doing nothing or watch inane television sitcoms. Retirement is hard work, financially and otherwise. Jump-start your retired life by downsizing. By now, decades of accumulating widgets, has cluttered your personal space and mental space. Time to clear out all cobwebs, literally and metaphorically!

List out Things Owned

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Begin by making an inventory of all things owned. It is a time-consuming and a difficult task, to be done after careful consideration. Make different categories and then segregate available things under them. Categories can be furniture, books, gadgets, and more. Don’t forget unused things in your garage or loft or basement. This gives a clear idea of what has accumulated over the years. Sometimes, there are even duplicates. Often, we forget the old stuff and buy things again, ending up with five Christmas light sets and six dinner dish sets.

Where do you start?

Though making a list is a good start, a clear idea of where to begin is essential. Else, you end up clueless about where to begin. As the task is huge, it could be intimidating if you do not know where to begin. You may start with the kitchen which gives you breathing time to come to terms with things that make you emotional. Or you could postpone it till you face specific issues.

Sell, Gift or Throw Away!

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Once your list of things is ready, assess what items you still need now. Obviously, there are plenty of things you want to trash, give away, or sell off. If you sort out these things, place them in the right categories and begin work. Identify things you wish to throw away. Do not throw away anything recyclable. Then separate items to drop off at the nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army Store. Finally, assess what you could sell off. Take attractive pictures, place them on the Internet for buyers to evaluate.

Resetting your Closet

The closet is the most cluttered. Organize your closet by rejecting clothes not worn at all. But you might find it difficult to remember which clothes you wore recently. Use this hanger trick and place your clothes in hangers but facing backwards. After wearing them, turn them around. After three or six months, review which clothes still face backwards. You will have identified your least favourite clothes! Consider giving them away, if somebody finds them useful? This helps to re-organize your closet and also find space for new clothes.

Celebrate With a Party

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If downsizing is a tiring and depressing time, how about making it cheerful? Invite friends to come over and help you and party later. Also, if planning to give away or sell, request them to select something. It is a great incentive for coming over and helping you clean up and downsize. And possibly serve some wine and cheese later? At the end of this exercise, you will be happier to clear up the clutter. More clutter only stresses out our minds. You will have generated extra space for new clutter more important for you now. So gear up and be positive about de-cluttering. That should take away all stress!

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