Why you need to Declutter at Midlife
What I know for sure is that when you declutter – whether it’s on your home, your head, or your heart – it is astounding what will flow into that space that will enrich you, your life, and your family.
– Peter Walsh
How do you feel when you walk into your home at the end of a long day and you’re greeted by a pile of unopened mail which sits alongside the overflowing basket of clean washing on your dining table?
You drop a few more envelopes onto the stack as you shuffle past weighed down with bags of groceries which you dump on the kitchen bench, sighing as you push aside the blender, mixer, air fryer, toaster, a half dead pot plant and the kettle to make enough space. Chances are your stress levels have gone up quite a few notches and your home is feeling nothing like the peaceful haven you wish it was.
Clutter is debilitating on so many levels and it creeps up on us as the years fly past full of child wrangling, work, life events and laundry – SO much laundry!
Come midlife – that season when hormones, empty nest, relationship and financial stress converge to create a perfect storm – clutter becomes an issue that can’t be ignored. Your midlife reinvention, transformation or plain old crisis can’t be fully navigated when you are clinging tightly to the physical mementos of your past.
I write about clutter in all of my 21 Hacks books, particularly the most recent, 21 Hacks to ROCK your Midlife where I dedicate 3 hacks to the impact of Physical, Digital and Mental clutter. As well, I’ve blogged about clutter a number of times over the years, including here and here.
Why would I do so when my primary coaching and programs are around life and online business coaching?
Because clutter has the ability to distract you from the things that you really want to do, and of the various forms, physical clutter can also contribute to feelings of shame and failure – neither of which are helpful when you are wanting to embrace a new season in your life.
Perhaps your midlife reinvention includes your downsizing your home, launching a new side-hustle or career, learning a new skill, travelling to far flung places or simply cutting back your work hours so you can spend time with your grandchildren. Whatever direction you want to take, at some point, you are going to have to face the accumulated physical memories that clog up your home, your garage, your storage unit or your workplace. In short, to create the space for new experiences, you need to clear the clutter of your past – and for some people, this process is a confronting one that they keeping putting off facing.
If you know deep down that you are one of these people, then sister – I’m being straight up here – it’s time to pull your head out of the sand and take stock of your surroundings. We can talk all day long about how we want to ROCK our Midlife season, but it’s really hard to do so wholeheartedly when you live in fear of someone discovering your embarrassing secret of having a house full to the brim with 40 odd years worth of clutter. Even if you don’t yet qualify for an episode of Hoarders, if you feel any shame, frustration, embarrassment or conflict in regards to your possessions – it’s time to declutter. And midlife is the perfect time to do this.
3 Reasons why you need to declutter at Midlife
- If you’re surrounded by possessions, there will be little room for anything new in your life. Always wanted to learn how to ballroom dance, paint or crotchet? When your home is overflowing with possessions, how are you going to find the time and space for new experiences? At midlife, it’s time to pause and assess your life. If you are truly wanting to reinvent and grow into a new season, you’ll need to create space for that growth, and that means letting go of clutter and mementos that no longer serve any purpose.
- Who wants to spend their midlife years cleaning? It might sound silly but this is actually a very valid point! The more physical clutter surrounding you, the more your time will be consumed with dusting and cleaning. One of the characteristics of midlife is the awareness that life is racing by and that your years ahead are possibly less in number than those already gone. This is your chance to experience life to the fullest before your senior years, and I can virtually guarantee that tending to possessions is not on your bucket list.
- Why burden your children? The hardest physical clutter to part with is sentimental clutter. Photos, china, furniture or knick-nacks – be they your own purchases or possessions handed down from your parents and grandparents – not dealing with them means that your children will have to. It’s hard enough to cope with grief and the practicalities of burying a parent let alone having to clear decades worth of possessions. Letting go of the physical clutter in your home at midlife frees your children from the drawn out grief and pain of having to deal with it all when you’re gone.
Midlife is a challenging, yet wonderful season where you have the opportunity to rediscover who you were before your adult years, or choose to reinvent yourself and step into a whole new path. Whichever journey you embark on, clearing the physical clutter in your world will create both the physical and mental space you need to allow you to truly ROCK this season!
Inspired to start your own decluttering journey? Join my FREE 30 day Fall in Love with your Home Decluttering Challenge! When you register by clicking HERE, you’ll also receive a complimentary workbook, 10 Hacks to Simplify your Life!
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