Five to Thrive Clearing the Clutter: Practical Tips for Organizing Your Home After 50

Show Notes:



Valerie Hatcher shares five practical tips for decluttering and organizing your home after 50. She emphasizes starting small, tackling one room or category at a time, and using the three-box method (keep, sell, donate) to sort through belongings. Valerie also suggests investing in meaningful organization solutions, committing to regular decluttering rituals, and showcasing only the items that truly resonate with you. By decluttering, you can create a serene and clutter-free space that reflects your unique story and allows for new beginnings.


0:00 Introduction to the podcast and topic of decluttering and organizing

01:07 Starting small and tackling one room or category at a time

03:46 Using the three-box method for sorting items

07:29 Investing in meaningful organization solutions

08:45 Committing to quarterly or biannual decluttering rituals

09:56 Taking short daily tidying breaks and putting things away

10:33 Showcasing meaningful and resonant decorative items

11:56 Final thoughts on decluttering and embracing simplicity

11:59 Conclusion and call to action for listeners to subscribe and connect

Key Takeaways:

  • Start small by tackling one room or category at a time.
  • Use the three-box method: keep, sell, and donate.
  • Invest in meaningful organization solutions that fit your needs.
  • Commit to quarterly or biannual decluttering rituals to reassess and reorganize.
  • Showcase only the items that truly resonate with you and create a clutter-free space.

 Connect with Valerie:

* Facebook, Instagram, and Threads @iamvaleriehatcher.  

* Email at

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Stay tuned for more inspiring chats, tips, and stories about the midlife journey.

See you soon! Let’s continue to age with grace, style, and a touch of sass.


0:00:00 - (Valerie): Hello, beautiful ladies. Welcome back to another episode of Five to Thrive. I'm your host, Valerie Hatcher. Our mission is to provide empowering tips for women over 50 to help us navigate this vibrant stage of life with grace, style, and a whole lot of fun. Each week, I bring you five practical and engaging tips on a specific topic. I hope you find them relative and relatable, and we'll come back for more.

0:00:29 - (Valerie): Ready for today's episode? Then let's go. Today, we're tackling a topic near and dear to my heart, especially this week. Decluttering and organizing your Home after 50. As we get older, serene, and clutter-free spaces become so important. But clutter can accumulate quickly, leaving us overwhelmed. Am I the only one who seems to have more clutter now that the kid or kids are gone? Sometimes I think this just absolutely makes no sense.

0:01:07 - (Valerie): There are only two of us in the house, yet I swear I don't have room to store stuff. I wonder if it's because I have too much stuff or am I becoming a pack rat? And this is exactly why we're talking about decluttering today. It's probably more for me than it is for you, but with targeted decluttering and smart storage solutions, we can reclaim order. In this episode, I'll share five tips to help you declutter, organize, and create a peaceful home, from tackling categories or rooms to maintenance tidying.

0:01:50 - (Valerie): So let's dive in, okay? I said this topic was near and dear to my heart this week, so let me explain. I'm off work this week, and decluttering is my main project. The tips I share are for me, but since I'm a sharer, I wanted to pass them along to you too, just in case you're going through something similar. So tip one is to start small, one room, or one category at a time. When beginning the decluttering journey, we often make the mistake of biting off more than we can chew.

0:02:32 - (Valerie): Or at least I know I definitely do. I start off feeling enthusiastic, but then tearing apart the whole house at once can lead to exhaustion and frustration. When faced with the task of decluttering, the sheer scale of the project can be daunting. So here's the trick that I've learned, and I've actually started to practice. Instead of tackling the whole house, start out small. I start with just one room, or maybe even one single category within that room.

0:03:09 - (Valerie): For example, start with high-traffic spots like your closet, or the kitchen, pantry, or junk drawers. Fully tackle that one category before moving to the next. This approach makes the process manageable, and it provides me with a sense of accomplishment so much quicker. Another trick is to block off, say, two to 3 hours in one day, or maybe even over the course of a few days to tackle the space and again, set a timer.

0:03:46 - (Valerie): For instance, my plan, as I said, is to declutter this week. But I know me, I get sidetracked so easily. So I've assigned myself areas for each day. I'm tackling makeup and toiletries in the bathroom on day one, all the over-the-counter meds and other stuff that's in the kitchen, that's going to be on day two and then on day three and four. Those are dedicated to my son's room, which has become a catch-all.

0:04:25 - (Valerie): I think I mentioned in the empty nest episode that I'd like to make that room into a content creation photo studio room. Anyway, eventually I'll get there, but that's why I need to declutter it. So back to my plan for the week. I will allot about 3 hours a day as I have other stuff I need to do other than declutter. But having a laid-out plan keeps me motivated and I know it will keep me on track.

0:04:59 - (Valerie): I'm sure if you've done any research around decluttering, you've heard this before. But here we go again. When sorting items, the three-box method is a lifesaver. Label three large boxes or bins and label them with keep, sell, and donate. Then, as you sift through your belongings, be honest with yourself. If you haven't used something in, say, over a year, maybe it's time to let it go. I've gotten much better with this when it comes to my closet.

0:05:34 - (Valerie): I used to keep clothes, thinking I would someday get back to that size. Well, this year when I cleaned out my closet, I realized even if I did get back to that size, the items were outdated. So why was I keeping them? This three-box system helps streamline decisions and it keeps things organized. Remember, items that might not be useful to you could be treasures to someone else. When I sorted out my closet, I was surprised by the number of clothes that I hadn't worn in years.

0:06:13 - (Valerie): Some went into the donate box and then those that were in great condition went into the sell pile. I had this great evening dress that I had worn once to like, I don't know, a wedding or some kind of formal event. And I kept thinking that I was going to wear it again. But years passed and I never wore it again. As a matter of fact, I wasn't even sure if, forget the fit, if it was really even my style or my taste now.

0:06:43 - (Valerie): So I actually ended up selling it online. Number three invest in meaningful organization solutions. The goal isn't just to declutter, but once you've decluttered, it's important to keep it that way. For me, that's easier said than done. I really always have good intentions, but I need to really work on ensuring it stays that way. Investing in effective organization solutions like shelves, clear storage bins, label makers, or even apps that help with inventory can make a difference.

0:07:29 - (Valerie): Clear bins are good as they allow you to see your contents, and labeling everything is a must. Whatever you use, though, it's important to make sure the solution is something that fits your needs and doesn't add more clutter. So here are some simple suggestions assign a home for everything. Baskets for remote controls, wall hooks for mops, store by category and frequency of use, meaning maybe put the least used items in the hardest-to-reach spots.

0:08:04 - (Valerie): And then prevent a junk drawer clutter by giving items a proper place right away. I added in my drawers these little kinds of trays with sections, and it's been perfect because each item has its own section in that tray, in that drawer. That has been the most amazing thing to keep us organized because before then, we definitely had junk drawers. Number four commit to quarterly or biannual decluttering rituals.

0:08:45 - (Valerie): So I'm definitely learning that decluttering isn't a one-time activity. I have a friend who faithfully sets aside a weekend or at least a few hours a quarter to reassess and reorganize. She said it helps keep clutter at bay and it gives her space kind of a facelift. So she suggested that I try it. Well, while it sounds like a good idea, I know me and I know I'm not going to commit to doing this quarterly, but I can strive for every six months.

0:09:21 - (Valerie): When my son was younger, I used to declutter during spring break and then in December when I was off for the holidays. For some reason, over time, I got off that cadence and actually probably need to do it more now. I do agree that it helps in reassessing what has been added and what can be let go. One thing that works well for me is like a mini declutter. It's allowing 15 minutes per day to tidy up.

0:09:56 - (Valerie): It really makes a difference. So does putting up things at night or putting them back in their place before bedtime. Our final tip is short and sweet. It's, showcase what truly resonates with you. As you declutter, you're going to find items that hold profound memories or that resonate with your current life phase. Only display your most loved decorative items. Keep areas like side tables and shelves clutter-free.

0:10:33 - (Valerie): Having too much stuff out eventually becomes overwhelming. Leonardo DA Vinci said 'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication'. So let's try to follow this mentality. And there you have it, ladies. Five tips to help you declutter and organize your home. Remember, decluttering isn't just about getting rid of things. It's about making space for the new and exciting chapters of our lives. It's about cherishing memories and celebrating your unique story.

0:11:12 - (Valerie): For instance, a collage of family photos, tokens from travel, or artwork made by your kids or even now, your grandkids. Your living space is a reflection of you. Tackling clutter can make a huge impact on your mood and productivity. Until next time, cherish your space. The clarity and the new beginnings. Embrace the joy of letting go and the thrill of rediscovery and keep your fingers crossed for me this week, that I stay true to my decluttering plan, and that I remind myself that simplicity is the ultimate.

0:11:56 - (Valerie): Sophistication.

0:11:59 - (Valerie): Thank you so much for joining me for Five to Thrive Tuesday. If you haven't already done so, please subscribe so that you don't miss an episode. If you enjoyed the segment, please rate Review and share it with a friend. Let's stay connected on Instagram, Facebook, and or Threads at I am Valerie Hatcher. Or email me at Until next time, let's continue to age with grace, style, and a touch of sass.

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