The Clutter-Free Retiree

Hitting the road in an RV or downsizing provides the freedom to purge the possessions.

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Retirement can welcome a new lifestyle with more time for traveling and hobbies. Older adults might downsize their homes, move into retirement communities or hit the open road in a travel trailer or RV. To prepare for these changes, individuals must cut the clutter in their lives by dispersing, donating or selling their stuff.

“I have found that seniors who have reached this stage have a much easier time of letting go of their possessions and passing them down to their family,” says Anne Spero, a certified professional organizer and owner of Organized Living in Tulsa. “Couples who once maintained very large homes have little problem living in motor homes or senior living apartments. There is a freedom and weight lifted from ‘worldly things,’ and they are free to enjoy the remainder of their lives.”

However, freeing yourself from belongings doesn’t mean forcing them on your children or family members. Becky Marple, a professional organizer and owner of BeeNeat in Edmond, says it’s important to consider everyone’s preferences and have realistic expectations.

“Parents need to know their kids, their families and their personalities and give their children the chance to choose what they would like,” Marple says. “Something that may not be important to the parent may be important to the kids. For instance, one thing my grandpa would have probably never thought about was his hankie. He always carried hankies around and to this day I keep one in my Bible. But I didn’t keep 20; I on