You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 6 a.m.

Memo to baby boomers re: spring cleaning

By Susan Scott Morales, MSW


Photo by Flickr user kerryvaughan

When my mother was in her mid-sixties, I found her new habit of giving away possessions morbid. She had plenty of life left, I asserted to my siblings. What was the rush?

Now at the same age, I find myself with a thirst for decluttering. Almost weekly I set out a bag for Purple Heart or Easter Seals. I crave clean, organized closets, drawers and cupboards.

The accumulation — years have passed and now all the extra stuff I no longer "need" — feels like a burden. My responsibilities have changed. The family has grown by grandchildren, great nieces and nephews. It's the next generation's turn to build nests. I'm delighted to pass along curtains, towels and gently-used clothing and furniture.

As I declutter my home, I am claiming new territory, more space. I let go of the worn out baggage of the past and look forward to the future. My body is changing and with it, different demands for its care — more time spent exercising, stretching, researching and cooking healthy foods.

It’s an exciting time — long walks appreciating the beauty of nature and the loving network of family and friends I’ve created. The "extras" require more care than I want to give. They need to be dusted, repaired, and stored properly. I’m done moving them from my closet to the garage to the attic. I'd rather be outside kicking a soccer ball with my grandsons.

Susan Scott Morales is a meditation teacher, retired psychotherapist, published poet, novelist, and community contributor to and blogger on Her articles appear regularly on Huffington Post Healthy Living. Reach her at or visit her website: or fan page: