Clear Clutter

Only Keep what brings you joy

Are you ready to downsize but not even sure where to begin?! 

When we look around our homes to begin the process of organizing and/or downsizing, we tend to get caught up in the “what if”.

️- I better keep this just in case…..

-️ What if I need this for…

-So and so might be interested in this….

– If I lost 10 pounds and poodle skirts come back in style I would FOR SURE miss this….

-I have no use for this in the foreseeable future but I paid good money for this and I am NOT giving it away…

-If I were to just get more organized I am SURE I would start using this juicer, exercise ball, piano, fill-in-unfinished- project-here….. Old kitchenware

– I don’t really care for this,  but Grandma Beth brought this over on the Mayflower and I can’t bear to part with it….

– I will save this to sell on E-Bay, Craigslist, garage sale…….

Do any of these sound familiar?   I am sure many of us could think of other phrases and thoughts that we have heard from others,  or even from ourselves. All kidding aside, clutter tends to hold us back in multiple ways- physically, mentally, and even relationally.

First, let’s look at the definition of clutter according to the dictionary:

As a noun, it is said to be a disorderly heap or assemblage; litter; a state or condition of confusion. As a verb it means to cover or fill (something) with an untidy collection of things.

Think about this…

If you were moving to another country, what would you take with you???   Pretend for just a moment (or a day…a week…a month) that you’re de-cluttering and organizing because you’re moving someplace exotic and you only need the minimum. 🌎

We really only need the basics and the things that bring us joy- definitely a lot less than what we’ve accumulated.  So, are you ready to get started?

-Challenge yourself but keep it fun. Take a picture wearing your favorite prom dress or outfit from the 70’s. Declutter your lift

-Work in small increments of time and reward yourself often.

-Enlist a buddy.

-Make sure you take regular breaks and get fresh air.

-Take out the monetary aspect and remember that your safety and well-being are priceless.

-Allow yourself time to grieve as you feel feelings or say goodbye to items from a different time or special person.

Above all else, give yourself grace,  and remember that those we hold close,  and the experiences we share with them are way more fun than all our stuff.  ❤️❤️❤️

Ready 〰️ Set 〰️ Go!  And don’t forget to have fun! 

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Nice White house

When is the Best Time to Start Thinking About a Future Move?

By Laura Kelso

I hear this question often.   With many Americans reaching retirement age, the decision of whether to remain in the family home is one of significant debate. The answer is complicated and can only be found by asking more questions.

More than 75% of Americans over 50 desire to stay in their current home.1  The reality, however, is that a much larger number of adults end up moving at some point.  Planning NOW for a future move that may never happen is a wise choice.  Here is why.

The Reality Gap 

I like to think of this as more of an “optimist gap” vs. a “reality gap.”   My children understand this explicitly. Each time I tell them, “I’ll be done working in 5 minutes,” or “this project is going to be a piece of cake,” I am not purposely trying to lie to them.  When I say it, I honestly believe it to be the truth. Every. Single. Time. I think this is the same for many older adults.  The homes they live in have served them well for decades.  They rocked babies there, doled out advice to growing children, and hosted numerous holidays.  It is the essence of comfort.  The question then becomes, “Is Aging in Place a realistic option for ME?”

Questions To Ask

  1. Do I still really love living in my home, or just the idea of it? Do I have children, neighbors, or friends close by who could assist in the case of an emergency?
  2. How does my spouse feel? Often one spouse is ready to move, and the other is not.
  3. Is the layout of my home conducive to aging in place? Necessities such as a full bath and laundry on the main level and the ability to accommodate a walker or wheelchair are imperative to safe living.
  4. If my home does not currently have those things, is it possible to renovate? If so, are the changes economically feasible?
  5. Am I caring for my home the same way I have in the past? Are there expensive repairs such as a new roof or furnace that I have been putting off? What could happen if I continue to procrastinate?
  6. Am I keeping up with routine maintenance? Do I enjoy fixing things and keeping up my garden, or has it become a burden? If so, can I hire someone?
  7. How do my kids feel? While this is not the MOST important question to ask, it is a legitimate one. If I had to move or passed unexpectedly, am I leaving others with a mess?
Planning for a future move you may never need to make will reduce your stress today.
Planning for a future move you may never need to make will reduce your stress today.

What To Do Now

  1. Learn your options. Smaller home, a condo, senior community? Current city or somewhere new?
  2. Know your numbers. Qualified realtors, senior housing advisors, and financial advisors can help you evaluate your financial plan.
  3. Know lead times. Houses take time to prep and sell. Some communities have long waiting lists. Be realistic and plan accordingly.
  4. Make a tentative plan. A real estate plan is like insurance.  You may never need to use it, but not having one can be devastating.
  5. Organize your paperwork. Wills, trusts, surveys, loan numbers, and insurance details are often needed and may require an update before closing.
  6. Understand real estate. Markets fluctuate every 7-10 years and have now been strong for over five years. If delaying a move puts you at risk to enter a market where your home might take months or years to sell (remember 2008?), does that affect your plan today?

These questions and ideas just scratch the surface. They are a great place to start discussions with your spouse or friends or to contemplate quietly.   If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that life can change in an instant.  Developing a plan for an uncertain future can lessen stress and help you enjoy today.


  1. AARP article, Oct 2018