Live With Less After 50

Table of Contents

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Minimalist Experimentation

2020 was a good year to test out if I wanted to be a minimalist and how to live with less. Most of the stores were closed periodically for lockdown here in Portugal, and all I could shop for was food. It was easy to eliminate most of my spending on frivolous items.

Declutter: My New Hobby!

One of the things that I did during the pandemic was declutter and get rid of things I didn’t need. By the end of 2020, I had less stuff, but I still had too many things. I felt good about the donations I made, and I took note of the excess. I decluttered consistently during lockdown, and then specifically before a move. I looked around as I was packing, and still felt I had too much stuff.

 I created a minimalist wardrobe, but when summer came along, I was so bored with the monochromatic colors in my closet that I went rushing to a store and bought a few bright-colored dresses. My minimalist wardrobe went out the window as I added a few more summer accessories. That was when I decided I don’t want to be a minimalist, but I do want to live with less.

Living with Less Stuff after 50

My biggest lessons about living with less came after a certain age- when my father died, and then my mother died. My family and I had to go through everything and decide what to keep, and what to do with things we didn’t want.

Mother Knows Best

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My mother taught me the best lesson. A few years before she died she started to visit her old friends, and with each visit, she’d take them a present. She did the same thing with family members. When she died, I lived in Miami, and my sister and I flew down to Brazil for her funeral. We went to her house and were shocked to see that it was almost empty. Many of her knick-knacks, paintings, and clothes were gone. I walked into her room, and I didn’t feel that it belonged to her, it was so bare. She only had a few dresses hanging in the closet, two purses and a few other things. The guest room had half-filled boxes and paintings on the floor with people’s names written on the back.

 My mother had started to prepare to leave this world three years before she died. She died of emphysema, so she was very aware of her illness, but the disease only got unbearable about six months before she died. And yet, she started her decluttering way before the time. She told my aunt that she wanted to make sure that the right people received certain things.

 I know that this is a bit of a morbid subject, but her decluttering made our job less painful. We did not have to go through her bits and pieces of memories, and her house didn’t feel like she had walked out two hours ago. My sister and I were thankful for that.

 When I went back to Miami, I started my long process of decluttering, and I’ve kept at it for many years now.

Seasonal decluttering

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Right now, I am about to go through my closet again. Fall is around the corner, and I will be putting away my summer clothes. I have so many outfits that someone else will be happy with, and I will feel lighter.

I believe that the older we are, the less we should have – not only to make it easier for when we finally go, but also to make it easier for us to live in our space. A decluttered house is airy and we don’t have to spend as much time dusting off knick-knacks, books and stuff. It makes life a lot easier and it feels freeing to be less weighed down by things.

 What are your thoughts about living with less?


Spring Activities for the Over 50

Marguerite Beaty, Blogger, Photographer & Artist

Welcome to the sunny side of life for women over 50! We aim to create a space where women feel empowered, supported, and inspired to lead their best lives after 50. Join our Instagram!

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