We Brits love our homes. They are our castles, as the saying goes. Many of our equity release clients plan to make the most of their retirement by releasing cash for the home and garden improvements that they’ve long been wishing for. In fact, it is one of the most popular reasons for equity release. 

However there are also some major improvements you can make by the simple act of decluttering. 

Decluttering is an effective and affordable way to rethink the environment we live in. It gives us the opportunity to keep things that matter, but also create space for new experiences by tossing unnecessary possessions.  

“Does it spark joy” – the Marie Kondo method

According to the star of Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, the key is to keep things that spark joy. Hundreds of possessions are kept in houses because we think we might use them again or perhaps due to mild sentimental value. Favourite clothes from your youth that you will slim back into, shirts that might come back into fashion some day, damaged items that we plan to restore, even though they have been gathering dust in the spare room for years. These are the sorts of items that we should really class as “clutter”. 

Easier said than done? 

For some, throwing away possessions feels like a waste. It is also all too easy to procrastinate. However advocates of decluttering say that you can greatly improve your well-being and enjoy your living space more by decluttering and being far more selective over what you keep.  

Grown up kids

This is a big source of clutter due to sentimental value. Many of us suffer from “empty nest syndrome” when the children move out but leaving their “stuff” in our homes well into their adulthood benefits no-one! We certainly don’t need to keep every single item. If you don’t want to toss it – give it to charity. Knowing that things will bring joy to someone else might make you twice as happy.  

Decluttering2 - How to Declutter Your Home for Retirement

Grouping items 

Once you have decided that it is time to declutter, grouping items is the next big task. You may be surprised by the sheer number of items you manage to group into one category. By simply putting all items in one place you get a different perspective of your possessions. This way you can see what is necessary and what is not being used. Declutter fans suggest that this is a good order to work through: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous and sentimental items. Once you have rid yourself of clutter you can organise the rest. 

Everything in sight 

Once you declutter your house, you can start making the space work better for you. The key is to store everything in sight. For example, if you reorganise your fridge so you can see everything, you are likely to use more ingredients and waste less. The same applies to every space that you have in your house from the coat cupboard to the bedroom wardrobe.

Vertical storage 

Folding clothes and storing them vertically is a great way to organise your wardrobe. The whole pile stays in place while you remove a single item, and the pieces are not creased because of the weight of the whole pile. The best thing is that you can see all your clothes right in front of you so you can explore combinations without even touching your items. Getting ready in the morning should be far simpler.

Decluttering3 - How to Declutter Your Home for Retirement

Make it work 

The amount of work needed in order to organise your environment might be overwhelming. It is recommended to do the clean up in just a few days, but realistically it can take a few months. The upside is that after decluttering you probably won’t waste as much time looking for things. You will know exactly where all your items and documents are and spend more time on your hobbies and useful activities. When everything in the house is accessible, life runs that bit smoother, and who wouldn’t like that?