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Simple Sophistication and the Art of Living Well After 60

By Margaret Manning October 17, 2015 Lifestyle

I never realized just how cluttered my life had become until I made the decision to start downsizing my life after 60. After years of accumulating “stuff,” I made the difficult – some would say dramatic – decision to reduce the number of items that I owned to 200.

At first, my reasons for downsizing were practical. For starters, I was moving to Europe and wanted to reduce the number of items that I needed to carry around the world.

Second, I was tired of digging through boxes to find things when I needed them.

But, as I started to sort through my items and downsize, a funny thing happened – I started to feel much richer on the inside.

This feeling reminded me of a quote that I once heard attributed to Leonardo de Vinci. He said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Leonardo de Vinci - Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

I never really understood this quote until I started downsizing. Now, I realize that, at least for me, this quote is all about focusing on what is important and having a disciplined mind.

It’s easy to collect stuff. Cleaning and sorting sharpens the mind. It forces us to focus on what is important.

What do you think about this? Please join the conversation below and “like” and share this article to get the conversation going.

Do you agree or disagree that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication?” Why or why not? Have you downsized your life in retirement? What benefits, practical or psychological, did you receive from sorting out your life and reducing the number of your possessions?

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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