July 19, 2019

Decluttering, the process of removing unneeded or unwanted items from your living space, is often easier said than done. This is especially true for older adults living in a home that contains a lifetime of memories. While it can be hard to let go, removing unnecessary clutter from our lives is known to provide a wealth of mental and physical health benefits, helping to relieve stress, boost self-confidence, and improve mental clarity.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the mental and physical health benefits of decluttering and downsizing.

Decluttering clears the mind (as well as your space)

Research shows that being surrounded by clutter can lead to negative psychological effects, including stress, anxiety, depression, and sleep loss. When we open the door to a messy closet or look at an unorganized garage, it might evoke feelings of embarrassment or failure. On the other hand, living in a clutter-free environment helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation.

Clutter can also make it hard to focus. Our brains are easily distracted by our surroundings, making it difficult to accomplish what we wanted to do. This can lead to feelings of frustration. Organizing your spaces by clearing out clutter will help you stay on task and perform daily tasks with more ease.

Decluttering helps us feel good about ourselves

Sometimes, over-collecting becomes a harmful habit we find difficult to break. Getting rid of things that we don’t want anymore, but others could use, is another way that decluttering can have a significant positive impact on our mental health. Helping others by donating clothes, toys, tools, decorative items, or cookware is not only a good deed; it can also help to boost our own feelings of happiness and self-confidence.

Decluttering can remove safety hazards

Living in a cramped, cluttered home may also pose significant safety risks, especially for older adults. For example, clothes, books, or electrical cords that block doorways or hallways can be a tripping hazard. Removing unnecessary clutter decreases makes it easier to navigate throughout the home and decreases the chances of a dangerous fall or injury.

Downsizing opens new doors to a happier future

Thinking about how you will be able to manage a large house as you age can be overwhelming. Chores and home upkeep take up time you could be spending with more emotionally-rewarding activities like hobbies, volunteer work, exercising, or being with family and friends. Downsizing to a smaller, easier-to-manage space in a retirement community relieves you of many home maintenance tasks and frees up more time to do what makes you happy.

Explore the benefits of downsized living

If you’re looking forward to a relaxing, laid-back retirement without the hassle of daily chores and home maintenance, consider the benefits of decluttering your current home and “rightsizing” to a retirement community. With convenient amenities, friendly neighbors, and enriching events and activities, retirement communities help seniors make the most of their retirement years and enjoy life to the fullest.