Leveling up doesn’t begin and end with the clothes you wear. Live stylishly every day, and at every age, with Style Girlfriend’s “Home Essentials” series. Find the basics you need upgrade your digs in your twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties…
Unwind, slow down and enjoy
By your fifties, you’ve definitely earned a little time for fun, friends and the finer things in life. You’re probably still reporting to work (or maybe you’re making your own schedule these days, boss-man), but you might be starting to take it a little easier and dial down your responsibilities. At home, your kids probably don’t need all your attention anymore (in fact, you might be lucky to get a nod as they rush out the door each night) or you might be facing the freedom of an empty nest. So what should you have at home now? This!
You’ve spent years doing a lot for everyone else in your life; now is the time to cultivate an activity or hobby at home that’s just for you. We don’t care what you do – tinker with an old car, take up woodworking, pick up an exercise routine, or just catch up on a decade (or two) of Netflix – just make sure that you have the proper materials on hand and a real space set up. Whatever you choose do, do it up right! You’ve scrimped and saved enough, now is the time to splurge and reward yourself with activities you love doing.
Maybe your hobby is more…external: you’re a foodie who loves to eat out, or you’re obsessed with improving your golf score. You don’t need a dedicated space at home, you need a commitment to go OUT and do your thing on the regular. That means putting a dinner reservation on the books every week or setting a standing date with a friend for a day on the green. If you don’t make it a regular thing, you probably won’t find the time so make a plan and put yourself first (finally!).
A good sound system
You’ve probably invested a lot of time and money over the years on furniture, decor, and tools to make your home look great. Now it’s time to take it to another level with a great atmosphere. Music is such an immediate and all-encompassing way to change the mood of any room. Investing in good speakers to blast your favorite tunes will feel worth it the first time you flip on an amazing song and notice that the room looks a little softer and your mood feels much more mellow. As you start to spend more time at home, it’s so important to make the it a place where you really want to be. Getting the right sound set up is a small investment that will pay off big in amazing atmosphere.
You’re already a pro at the bar downstairs from your office where years of happy hours have honed your palette. As you edge towards retirement (or at least, semi-retirement!), it’s time to bring that well-earned wisdom home. Throwing a dinner party can be just as fun as hitting up a bar or restaurant. Pluses: no driving, comfortable pants. Minuses: dishes. Let’s call it a draw. But dinner at home means cocktails at home, so stock your bar with the essentials: a few different types of good quality liquor (vodka, gin, whisky, and rum will cover your bases) and some mixers like tonic, soda and a juice or two. If you’re feeling fancy, a mix of lemons, limes, cherries, and olives are nice to have on hand as well.
Got a bucket list full of dream destinations? Now’s the time to get away. But don’t settle for less-than-stylish luggage. Gone are the days when you can get away with a beat up duffle for a weekend trip or a busted carry-on with duct tape holding together the handle. Pony up for something functional, sleek and classy (in last-forever leather if possible), befitting your new “globe-trotting man of the world” status.
Even though traveling can make you feel grimy and grubby (and we know you’re probably just happy to make it onto the plane without leaving a member of the family behind), having a stylish and easy-to-use, well-designed suitcase will make the airport struggle easier and leaving you feeling miles more put-together.
A functional organizational system
If you haven’t already, one day soon you’re going wake up, look around your home and think, “Where the *&%^ did all this clutter come from?” This syndrome is especially acute in the newly-retired. It’s inevitable that you accumulate lots of stuff as the years go by, but you don’t have to live like a hoarder. That means, you need a plan to deal with all your S T U F F.
Some things you’ll need to keep handy, some you’ll be able to store away and many things can be released into the wilds of your local Goodwill. The tricky part is figuring out which things should go where. Get yourself a system to organize the things you need to access all the time like kitchen tools, clothes, files and home goods. Then make space to neatly pack away things you want to keep, but don’t need to see constantly like legal documents, nostalgic items from your childhood (or your kid’s stuff that you want to save), as well as any important extras or duplicates. Finally – and most importantly – set a schedule for a regular decluttering session to go through what you have and decide if keeping it is worth the space it takes up in your home.
It may feel painful to throw away or give away perfectly good items (that you paid money for nonetheless!), but you may be surprised to discover the satisfaction that comes with letting go of what you truly don’t need.
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST DE-CLUTTER AND ORGANIZATION TIPS?