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Home Organization

6 Things To Declutter And Organize When You Retire

These are the things you should declutter and organize either before you retire or soon after so you can settle into your new lifestyle stress-free.

Are you counting down the days until you trade in your badge at work for the big R word? If you’re prepping for retirement, or if you’ve just started that new chapter in your life and you feel like the walls are closing in on you at home, it’s time to do some decluttering, purging, and organizing so you can feel less stressed and more relaxed. These six tips will help you refresh the areas of your home that are going to be used more now than they ever have before. So grab a piece of paper, make a game plan, and get yourself Organized-ish.

6 Organizing Projects To Prep For Retirement

pantry organization tips from Lela Burris, professional organizer

1. Kitchen And Pantry

Now that you’re retiring, you’ll be home a lot more often. There will be no more packed lunches or quick breakfasts on the go. Aside from going out for catch-up meals with your friends, you’ll likely be spending most of your meals at home. That means your kitchen is about to get a lot more use than ever before. Take a full day and declutter your pantry, purge random kitchen items you no longer need, deep clean the whole room, and refresh your storage layout.

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2. Master Closet

Another perk of retirement is you don’t have uniforms or specific work clothes anymore. If you hated wearing those dress pants every day, you can send every single pair to Goodwill now. And if you wore a company-provided uniform, you now have a big empty gap in your closet where it used to live. Now’s your chance to rearrange your closet and purge your wardrobe so you can wear what you want to wear whenever you want to.

craft room layout idea Lela Burris

3. Hobby Spaces

One of the best things about retirement (so I’m told) is that you’ll have more time for the things you love. Whether you enjoy crafting, gardening, or you don’t even know what you enjoy yet so you plan to try a little of everything, you’ll need a dedicated hobby space. Clean and organize your hobby space so you’ll want to spend more time in there without being stressed about clutter.

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4. Guest Bedroom

Another perk of retirement? More time for family! Now that your schedule is freed up a little, you’ll be able to host your kids and their families more often. If they live out of town, your guest bedroom is about to get a lot more use than before, so take time to get it ready. Deep clean the room, buy some fresh new bedding, clear out the closet, and declutter the decor to make it inviting and relaxing for guest. Don’t forget to prep the guest bathroom, too.

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5. Travel Gear And Vehicles

Have big plans for traveling and enjoying the great outdoors? If your dreams for living the new chapter of life include camping, boating, or traveling, spend a weekend getting your gear in order. Organize and clean your RV or camper, clean and stock your boat, and declutter and organize your vehicles. Don’t forget to stock safety essentials in all of them, and give your suitcases a good cleaning too.

6. Filing Cabinet

When was the last time you went through your filing cabinet and cleaned out old and outdated documents? Spend an afternoon giving your filing cabinet some love. You may need to access medical and financial documents during your big life change, especially as you make alterations to your insurance plans. Make it easy on yourself by organizing your filing cabinet into very detailed categories so you can find what you need quickly.

guest linen closet

Want More Tips For Organizing Your Home And Life After Retirement?

I get so many emails from women who have recently retired and are so excited to organize their homes and live a stress-free life. If that’s you, I’d love to know what questions you have about getting Organized-ish. Drop your post-retirement organization questions below in the comments section, and I may turn them into a blog post just for you! Make sure you subscribe to my weekly email update so you get a recap of all my new posts so you don’t miss it.


  1. We put everything in storage, sold the house and traveled for a year after retirement so we scanned and then shredded every piece of paper that we could. Most were given file names that included the date of the document and something descriptive – then filed in appropriate folders on one of our computers.

    Documents requiring originals (passport, marriage license, birth certificate, etc) are in a small fire proof box and hobby supplies live in the one file cabinet we kept.

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