By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

“The secret to happiness is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

~ Socrates

What is it about turning 60 that changes us? I have a big birthday coming up soon so perhaps I’m being a little nostalgic, meaning this blog is coming directly from my heart.

When I turned 60… time seemed to be going so much faster.

There was a new sense of urgency to make the most of my time left on earth.

And yet, ironically…

There was also a newfound desire and commitment to slowing down, being in the moment, and focusing only on the things that mattered most like family, friends, faith, and giving back.

Everything else just didn’t seem to matter as much. Stuff was just stuff!

It was time to declutter not only my extra stuff but also it meant I need to declutter my calendar so I could have more want-to’s and fewer have-to’s.

It meant removing anything from my life that was not working, that was weighing me down and preventing me from living the life I really want it. That included unhealthy habits and unhealthy relationships.

After all, there is still time to:

·       Do the things I’ve always wanted to do.

·       Say the things I still need to say.

·       Leave the legacy I want to leave.

Downsizing and decluttering helped me prioritize my life, to find things and people that would give purpose and meaning, and to celebrate this special time of life before something happened i.e., a health crisis, financial hardship, or death of a loved one.

Life in your 60s is a special stage of your life.

  • Empty nest

  • Pre-retire

  • Retired

More time, money, freedom, and energy to do what you put on the back burner. Now it can be put on the front burner and fire it up! It’s time for family, friends, both old and new, travel, experiences, learning, basically anything that you dream of is now possible.

  • What is it that you want more of?

  • What do you want your life to look like in your 60s and 70s?

  • What do you need to let go of to accomplish your goals?

  • When do you know that it’s time to Declutter and Downsize?

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The simple answer is to start decluttering now.

Give yourself time to sort through your home so you don’t get overwhelmed.

The sooner you start decluttering, the sooner you will start to experience more time and freedom to experience the life you’ve been dreaming of.

The typical decluttering process takes anywhere between 3 to 6 months.

For downsizing, give yourself even more time, i.e., 6 months to several years.

During this time:

1.   Discern the kind of lifestyle you want: i.e., city life, 55+ community.

2.   Discern the kind and size of the house, apartment, condo, or cottage you want and need.

3.   Estimate your housing costs and your living expenses.

4.   Test drive the type of home you want to live in.

Example: Take a vacation to those areas that interest you for a few weeks and meet people who could be your potential new neighbors.

5.   Decluttering your home will also help prepare your home to be put on the market.

The best advice I can give you is to declutter and downsize before it’s too late.

It’s an exciting new stage of your life and yes, the whole process of decluttering and downsizing can be overwhelming but I promise you it will be worth it when you discover how much happier you will be living a minimalist lifestyle… a simpler life with less.

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