Moving to a smaller home, condo or apartment requires downsizing-also known as reducing the amount of “stuff” you posses. Giving away, donating, selling and tossing our “stuff” can stir up memories and emotions that produce a great deal of anxiety. Many of us admit that we have too much “stuff” and need to get rid of it.
10 Steps to Downsizing
Remember-it’s just stuff.
- Stuff isn’t the person who wore that costume, or the toddler who needed that toy-those memories and emotions will always live within you
- Inheritances may be more treasured when received while you can share your story about the items
YOU get to decide what happens to your stuff but YOU are responsible for your choices.
Enlist family and friends to help you
- Offer your “stuff” to your helpers but accept that the answer may
- Leave moving heavy boxes or furniture or climbing on a ladder to someone else be No thank you.
Divide “stuff” into Keep, Sell, Donate
- There is No “Maybe” pile
- Broken, stained, or chipped items need to be thrown away
- If the house were on fire what would you be most devastated to lose? Keep that item.
- Do you use the item regularly or are you saving it for “someday”? Let it go
- Do some research to identify what is valuable and what isn’t-you may be surprised!
- Sell your items at a yard sale, estate sale, consignment shop or auction
- Identify a charity that you would like to support and donate the remaining items
- Books, CDs & DVD’s can be donated to your library where you can use them again at anytime
Cherished items can be photographed instead of kept.
Check with an accountant to determine what financial records need to be kept and for how long
- Prevent identity theft -shred any documents that have account numbers or your personal information
Photo albums can be transferred to digital images
- Digital images can be displayed as a computer screen saver or in a digital photo frame
You DON’T have to do it all at once.
- Downsizing one room at a time is perfectly ok-(just don’t move items from one room to the next)
Anything you are storing for someone else needs to get taken out by that person.
You can hire a Professional Senior Move Manager
Why Should I care?
You are NOT your stuff.
Your life is not measured by how many things you have.
Having a cluttered home increases your risk for falling which often leads to long term care care.