Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Clear The Clutter to Improve Your Retirement

You’ll never guess what my retired husband is doing as I sit down to write this blog. He’s been taking all the loose change we have and is putting it in the paper wrappers to take to the bank. He saves most of his change and we decided years ago to use the money for our grandchildren’s college fund. Of course, when he was working he never had time to wrap it. He also saves aluminum cans and uses the recycle money for the college fund. Yesterday, he took the cans to be recycled and in the process, got motivated to wrap coins. An interesting way to spend your retirement life.

A few years ago, I asked two recently retired friends what they were doing in their retirement. Because I saw both of them in a matter of weeks, I was surprised when they each responded, “Cleaning out closets.”

My first responding thought was, “You’ve got to be kidding me?” While I like a clutter free house as much as the next person, I thought cleaning closets was a silly retirement goal.

While it may not make a great retirement goal, there is a cathartic benefit to clearing the clutter that has grown over the years. Many of us have lived in our homes for a long time. No matter how hard you try, the garbage always comes in at a faster rate than it goes out.

Home takes on a new meaning when you retire. Even the most extroverted person spends more time at the house.

If you’re married, it’s important for both of you have a separate space to claim your own. For many couples, that requires cleaning out a garage or a spare room.

Finally, there is a wonderful feeling that comes from getting organized. We all have papers, closets, photos, books, junk drawers and spare rooms turned into storage space that hang around like an albatross needing our attention.

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