Retirement Redesigned

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Retirement Redesigned

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The Benefit of Organising in Later Life

This post is a duplication of our newsletter, The Weekly Reset, where we review a key theme each week. In the spotlight this week: The benefit of organising in later life. What are your favorite organisational hacks?

A note from Johann

The joy of living clutter free

And the liberation of staying organised

All of us fall into the traps of hoarding and allowing unnecessary clutter in our lives. Few of us have the discipline to edit our possessions regularly and to organise our living spaces.

Kirsten Jensen, the author of Live! Organised and Clutter Free, describes how she and her family were forced into a much slimmed down lifestyle when they moved to Hong Kong and had to survive in a drastically scaled down apartment. Kirsten and her husband, both South Africans who were used to the generous living spaces, had to find a new rhythm for their lives in the Far East. She learned with Spartan discipline to get rid of many possessions and to organise the administration of their home and its systems. With stark realisation, she came to understand that we all have to take care to keep only what is essential and that we can ditch much that encumbers our lives. Our possessions are there for utility, and they shouldn’t own us.

One of the many traps Kirsten describes is that of how our emotions frequently tug at us. We feel obligated to keep the sentimental objects left to us by a late mother or grandfather or any other situation where we have memories linked to things that we feel too sentimental to part with. Mothers often keep the sweet childlike drawings and scribblings of children when they are little. Instead, she advocates the building of a “memory box” for each child and limits all those sentimental bits and pieces to that one box.

She mentions the pitfalls of filling up free spaces – garages being a particular pitfall. We hoard things in them because they seem like free space. They become dumping grounds for a myriad of unused things that we don’t know what to do with.

These days, people tend to keep track when managing enjoyable activities, but the ordinary admin of paperwork like accounts, municipal notices, bank communications and such get neglected. Kirsten gives tips for regular admin sorting, which, if it becomes a habit, will ease the burden of the dreaded pileup.

Several of the authors that have written advisory pitches of how to keep yourself organised and lean have stressed that it is all about the right mindset and a good attitude. With this way of thinking, you can create organising habits which can help create calm as well as an enjoyable environment.


Our top pick this week:

Our take: Though this article is not written from the perspective of an older adult, the points made about organising our lives apply quite perfectly to a time of transition such as retirement when we have the opportunity to re-organise ourselves and our lives in a way that suits out personal preferences.

How To Organise Your Life

10 principles for organizing your work, home, health, fitness, hobbies, finances, and more…

Image as per original article in Doist Blog

Instead of throwing life’s tasks in the air in hopes you’ll somehow manage to catch them all, follow a framework to keep every area of your life in order.

The result is getting more done while feeling less stressed. Less juggling, more living.

By following simple rules and applying them consistently, you’ll organize your life in a way that adds calm to your days and order to your weeks.

Rules can feel rigid and joyless: do this, not that. But in reality, following a set of guidelines in life can be freeing. When we have a predetermined set of ways we aim to act, we limit the analysis paralysis that comes with choice and the agony that flows from indecision.

  1. Develop habits and build a routine
  2. Plan ahead
  3. Embrace your natural inclinations
  4. Consistency over perfection
  5. Find balance
  6. Prioritize appropriately
  7. Declutter and simplify
  8. Measure your progress
  9. Automate or outsource
  10. Experiment

Now that you know the ten aspects of the Organize Your Life framework, you can apply it to any number of areas in your life. By having some specific guidelines, you can approach each area with more confidence and less stress.

This framework can be applied to Work, Home, Health & Fitness, Finances, Relationships and Travel
Click here to read the whole article on Doist

Our Spotlight video:

We look at good ways to get organised. We benefit in many ways when we organise our lives and our things effectively. An organised environment not only helps us function more productively, it is also a reflection of our mindset. Like many skills, we can improve our capabilities when it comes to creating order and calm. And the best part is that it is an activity with a satisfying outcome that doesn’t require anything more than we already have.
Click play to watch our spotlight video of the week

Weekly spotlight

Other highlights for the week:

Our take: Reorganising your home needn’t be about removing things. It can also be about refreshing your environment. This article gives a few ideas for ways to refresh your home just by changing things around. This could be especially useful at a time when you are keeping a close eye on your budget.

10 Little Ways To Spruce Up Your Home – Without Leaving Your House or Buying Anything

Update your decor, without spending a dime.

There’s never been a better time to shop your home and play with rearranging your furniture and decor for a fresh look. You may just find that you already own everything you need for a serious home upgrade.

  1. Rearrange your living room.
    If you’re trying to discourage so much screen watching, position the chairs so that the coffee table (a perfect spot to lay out a board game or puzzle) is the focal point.
  2. Bring the outdoors in.
    If you have a backyard or can go on hikes, collect a bundle of fresh flower or greenery, or even a branch, to bring a touch of the outdoors in.
  3. Shop your home for accessories.
    Shop the other rooms in your home for vases, decorative objects, and art. The simple act of taking the candlesticks you’ve always kept on the dining room table and moving them to the living room TV console can suddenly make them feel like new again.
  4. Sort through your storage.
    If you have an attic or garage that’s full of furniture, paintings, and old books, you might not even know what treasures you already own.
  5. Upgrade your headboard.
    To instantly update the headboard you already have, try arranging a blanket or tapestry over it.
  6. Rethink your windows.
    If you don’t currently have a window seat, consider pulling an upholstered bench under the window, or reposition a cozy side chair.
  7. Introduce some mood lighting.
    If the overhead lighting in your home is feeling a little harsh, consider rearranging all of the table lamps and floor lamps around your home.
  8. Restyle your shelves.
    For any room that needs a quick refresh, try this trick: remove everything from the shelves (and)…try a new arrangement.
  9. Refresh your sofa.
    If you have alternate throw pillow covers or blankets, now’s the time to break them out.
  10. Organize your kitchen counters.
    If your countertop is looking a little cluttered, it’s time to try our editor-in-chief’s tray trick.

    Click here to read the article on

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Most Popular Quote of the Week

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. – Marcus Aurelius
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Quote but Marcus Aurelius – Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking

Weekly Question

Share your favourite tricks for beating the rising cost of living.
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Johann is the founding partner of Reset Retirement where we focus on assisting people with planning for the non-financial aspects of their lives after full-time work. He had a long career in executive search and leadership as the founding partner and chairman of Heidrick & Struggles in South Africa where he was the head of the company’s board practice.