How Decluttering and Downsizing Benefits Your Mental Health

Like a goldfish that grows to fit the size of its tank, most people seem to add stuff to fit the size of their residences (and then some). Of course, it’s easy to add more books, appliances or knick knacks when all we have to do is squeeze everything a little closer together.

What’s harder is decluttering your space, and most of us don’t do it until we decide to downsize (sometimes called rightsize) to a smaller, more manageable space. If you’re considering rightsizing to a retirement community like Edgewood Summit, this blog post will highlight the advantage of rightsizing for seniors, including the benefits of downsizing.

Benefits of Having a More Organized Space

After years (and often decades) of living in the same space, it’s easy to collect a lifetime of memories. If having all this stuff makes you feel anxious, closed in or like you can’t enjoy your residence, that’s an important sign it’s time to declutter. Here are some of the physical and mental health benefits of decluttering for seniors.

Clearing your space helps clear your mind.

Research shows living in a cluttered residence can cause stress, anxiety, depression and sleep loss. And opening the door to a messy closet or looking at an unorganized garage can make you feel embarrassed or like a failure. Being surrounded by clutter can also make it hard to focus because our brains are easily distracted. On the other hand, organizing your spaces by clearing out clutter can help you stay on task. Plus, living in a clutter-free environment can help reduce stress and provide a sense of accomplishment. You may even find that getting rid of stuff will make you feel physically and mentally “lighter.”

Sharing is caring.

Getting rid of things that you don’t want any more but others could use — like clothes, toys, tools, decorative items, cookware or furniture — is another way that decluttering can have a positive impact on your mental health. It’s also a chance to pass on important heirlooms to family members and friends.

Remove safety hazards.

Living in a cramped, cluttered home can be a safety risk for older adults. Removing unnecessary clutter that blocks doorways or hallways will make it easier to navigate your home and decrease your chances of having a dangerous fall or injury.

Uncover a better fit for your current lifestyle.

How many rooms of your current home do you only go in to clean? If caring for a home that’s larger than you need has become overwhelming, downsizing to a smaller, easier-to-manage space could give you more freedom. Living in a maintenance-free retirement community relieves you of indoor and outdoor maintenance and gives you more time to do what you enjoy or to pursue new interests.

Less truly is more.

One of the benefits of decluttering for seniors is you develop an appreciation for the things you keep. Paring down to your most treasured and most indispensable items lets them stand out more. Plus, they’re easier to find so you’ll be less overwhelmed.

Rightsize Your Lifestyle and Your Budget

Residents of Edgewood Summit enjoy a vibrant lifestyle on a scenic mountain top located in Kanawha Valley. As the only Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Charleston, WV, our hospitality-rich and friendly community offers wellness opportunities and the peace of mind of access to on-site health services, if ever needed.

Right now, we’re offering up to a 30% discount on our entrance fee on some of the most popular one-bedroom apartment homes. To find a residence that fits your lifestyle and your budget, schedule your tour today!