Retirement is a time for relaxation and enjoying the next chapter of your life.

If you have chosen to move into a retirement village, one of the first things on your to-do list will be decluttering for retirement. Your new home may be smaller than your current home, and while we understand this can be a daunting and emotional step, decluttering gives you the opportunity to start afresh. To simplify your life, and create a serene, relaxing environment full of only your most cherished pieces and knick-knacks. 

1. A brand new start

We know that the idea of moving from the home you have lived in for years can be hard. It’s the place where you made memories, enjoyed times with friends and family, and which you poured your heart into. While saying goodbye to your home can be sad, focusing on the benefits of moving into a retirement community can help.

Remind yourself why you are choosing to move; having a wide range of recreational opportunities at your doorstep, being surrounded by a thriving community of new friends, and enjoying letting someone else take care of the daily jobs and maintenance that would normally consume your time. And, most importantly, being able to thoroughly enjoy and embrace your retirement years.

Moving into a retirement village means you’ll have the comfort of a beautiful home, complete with all the mod-cons to make life easy, as well as the security of knowing help and support are at hand whenever you need it.

2. Start early

To help make the process of decluttering a little less overwhelming, it’s a good idea to start well in advance of your moving date.

Don’t wait until the last moment to start decluttering. Sorting through a lifetime of possessions takes time and patience and you don’t want to rush through it. You want to give yourself the space to go through each room slowly, to decide what to donate, and what to say goodbye to. This can give you the time to adjust gently.

Dedicate a few hours a week to the task and try not to think too far ahead. Remember, you’re not just decluttering, you’re making room for your next chapter.

3. Prioritise with purpose

This might seem obvious, but when you have memories attached to possessions, it can make the decluttering process challenging. To help, set yourself some clear priorities. Think about what your lifestyle in your new home will be like and focus on keeping the times that will enhance your days and parting with the things that no longer serve a purpose or bring you joy. 

4. Go room by room

When you want to declutter for retirement, taking in your whole house at once can seem like a mountain of work.

Instead, tackle one room at a time.

Decluttering this way can make the process less overwhelming and allow you to see your progress as you go. To make things easier, start with the less sentimental areas first. This can help you get into the decluttering mindset so that when you get to the more sentimental rooms, such as the bedrooms and living areas, you’ll be in a better state of mind. 

5. Make lists

Create lists for each of your rooms and the order you’ll tackle them. On your list, create sections for things to keep, items to sell, items to give to family and friends, things you can donate, and items to throw out. 

Once you have your lists, separate everything into piles. If there are items you’re unsure what to do with, sleep on it and leave it for another day. A little space can bring clarity and help you assess what to do with them. 

6. Keep only the precious memories

While everything in your home might hold a memory, remember that all of them eat up space, and you might not have room for them in your new home. It might be hard, but making the choice between what to keep and what to let go of is important.

Photos, photo albums, and photo frames hold special memories, but are there some that you can give to family members? Could you create photobooks or scrapbooks out of your boxes of loose photos to save some space? Are there photos you have from years ago that no longer hold sentimental value that you could throw out?

Things like silverware and fine china that are kept for special occasions could be used instead of your daily sets that don’t hold any value. Or perhaps you could give them to your family so they can enjoy them. 

Think about keeping quality over quantity. Donate or give away your cheaper items and keep the special pieces.

Sentimental items can be challenging to part with, but it’s important to be selective. Keep the items that truly hold deep sentimental value.

7. Plan your new space

Before moving into your new home, look at the floorplan and take in the measurements of each room. This can help you decide what furniture and possessions will fit comfortably into your new space. Make sure you check what items and furnishings are included in your new home so you don’t end up with two of the same thing. 

We’re here to help you declutter for retirement 

At Santhem Residences, we understand how difficult it can be to move from the home you have lived in for years into a brand new home and community. Especially if it’s the home where you raised your children.

That’s why we’re here to help every step of the way. Our moving partners at The Senior Move Partnership are experts at helping you declutter and take the hard work off your hands. And we’ll be there with a hot cup of tea and biscuits on moving day to make sure your next chapter truly feels like home.