Americans are stressed out, and their cluttered homes aren't helping matters: A recent Huffington Post survey found that 84 percent of recently stressed Americans say they worry that their home isn't clean or organized enough. And according to recent Ikea data, Americans spend an average of 55 minutes per day looking for things they can't find.
We may live in a culture of clutter (it's been estimated that 80 percent of what we own, we never use), but that doesn't mean that you have to allow excess "stuff" to crowd your home -- or add anxiety to your life. Controlling your clutter can go a long way towards making your home a more calming environment, reducing your stress levels, saving time and money and improving your quality of life -- not to mention that it could even help you lose weight.
Preparing for retirement or living in a newly-empty nest is the perfect time to take stock of your belongings and part ways with items that no longer serve you. Downsizing your home can be a great way to enter a new phase of your life -- one that's less stressful and more relaxing. Click through the slideshow below for seven essential rules for de-cluttering your home and simplifying your life.
Tell us: How have your simplified your life as an empty-nester or recent retiree? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet @HuffPost50.