“Letting Go” to Age in Place

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If you are considering retiring in your own home, it is important to create a plan to do so comfortably. There are many issues that arise that can make the upkeep and maintenance of homeownership during retirement a challenge. 

One way to prepare to age in place is clearing the home of clutter to decrease mobility hazards and reduce the stress of maintaining excess or unnecessary belongings. 

According to Andrew Mellen, a prominent Professional Organizer, there are three ground rules to follow when preparing your home for your future as a retiree:
1. “Everything you own should have value, either because it's functional or beautiful or you just love it.”
2. “Every item needs a place where it ‘lives.’”
3. “Focus on one thing at a time.”



Recent statistics show 3 out of 5 retirees remain in their homes, while only “1 percent of homes are conducive to aging in place” as-is. We have a room by room list of items to streamline as you prepare your home for retirement.

The kitchen can inadvertently become a storage area for food preparation and storage items over time. Many of the items in the kitchen may receive little to no use. If you notice this is the case in your home, consider finding a new home for the following: 
Excess Utensils
Rarely used appliances
Glassware Surplus
Extra Pots and Pans

Many times, bathroom cabinets and counters gather items that clutter the space. You can clear the space quickly by purging the following:
Expired prescription medication
Beauty products 
Hair styling appliances
Older and unused towel sets

Living Room
This common area is essential for entertaining family or other company. Clutter often hides on shelves, in an armoire or buffet drawers, or as the furniture itself! Here are a few items to remove to reclaim your space:
Old mail, newspapers, or advertisements
Magazine collection
Inherited items and mementos
Knick-knacks and trinkets
Large under-utilized furniture pieces

Have an office space that’s become a catch-all for any piece of paper possible? Consider removing or finding new homes for these items:
Outdated computer technology
Paperwork and files
Older books
Pen collection

This small space is often overstuffed with sentimental pieces, clothing that’s never been worn, and trendy or rarely worn items that keep the closet packed. Here’s what you can resale, donate or gift:
Rarely worn special occasion clothing
Dated trendy items
Clothing that is too large or small
Nostalgic or sentimental pieces
Shoes that don’t fit

All Throughout the Home
A few things that may clear extra space throughout the home:
Excess copies of photos
New items in the box
Extra Glasses/Sunglasses
Old Gadgets
Items stored for family and friends

Clearing your home of clutter does not have to start after you retire. You can start the process now before it’s a necessity. Removing clutter and reclaiming space to age in place can be emotional and time-consuming. Consider hiring a company like Caring Transitions to help you clear excess items and find new homes for valuables family and friends are not able to take on.






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