Retirement Life: Tips for Downsizing the Holidays

Posted: December 05, 2016 by Jacobsen Homes

Getting closer to retirement means simplifying life, any way you can. It feels great to reduce clutter and re-organize, even find things that you haven’t seen in a long time because they were buried under boxes of things that have lost their usefulness. The old decorations that stay at the bottom of the Christmas box, dishes and appliances that never come out of the cabinets, even clothing that seemed like a “must-have” at the time, but you never really wear it —these are easy targets for removal. How do you simplify life and downsize the holidays?

Don’t keep things just because they are old

It’s hard to let go of “things” because they are attached to memories. Some items have great sentiment attached to them and should be cherished. Other items you may be “over-sentimentalizing”. Rarely used gifts received long ago, impulse purchases, past trends, or something you keep hanging on to until it’s tattered and falling apart; it’s okay to donate gently used items to charity or offer to another family member.  Keep important things, but let go of things that are not essential or of little value.

Reduce duplicates

Do you really need a decorated tree in every room? Or boxes of lights that are not being used for the current season? Think of seasonal decorating as a “kit” and keep only the essential items that are easy to retrieve and assemble. A single, uniquely decorated tree or wreath is a stand-out over cluttered holiday knick-knacks in every room. Don’t be afraid to go minimal with simple, natural decorating with evergreens and a few cherished items. If you haven’t really used something in the last 5 years, it should be a candidate for donation.

Sell Online or Yard Sale

Yard sales or online selling services like eBay, Craigslist, or local Facebook Buy and Sell groups may be a good way to make some money, especially for larger items. If you venture into online selling, take close-up pictures of the item, enter a detailed description and be realistic about price. If the buyer will be picking up the item, try to meet in a neutral, public location. If a buyer must pick up from your home, have another person present for support.

Reduce Off-Site Storage

Reduce monthly costs and clutter by downsizing anything that is in off-site storage and you haven’t used in the last year, especially holiday decorations. Make it a goal to have your possessions fit in your residence.

Go “less commercial” with gift giving

Put the focus back on the spirit of the season and just enjoy each other’s company over food and fellowship. If you have a large family, perhaps only purchasing small gifts for the children or drawing names will help everyone out.  Gifts that provide a comfort, contribute to another’s well-being, convey meaning—these are the cherished items that make holiday memories.

Resist trying to recreate the past every year

Everyday life is stressful enough without adding expectations that may be unrealistic. Some holidays will create memories that last a lifetime, others will just be a part of life’s timeline. Friends and families change, new people and experiences come into your life and each holiday may create challenges. Pare down the decorating to a few cherished essentials and don’t over-schedule yourself with too many events. Keep gatherings organized and less fussy with a simple menu of favorites and ask others to bring something specific if needed.

Reducing holiday clutter in your modular home is great therapy for restoring order and enjoying the retirement lifestyle. Our goal at Jacobsen Homes is to try and make retirement living a little easier on you, especially during the holidays. If you have questions about any aspect of manufactured homes, we have answers. Visit us on the web at