Downsizing Possessions Are you feeling overwhelmed about moving to a smaller home? For many seniors, downsizing seems daunting. There are lots of important decisions to make, and the process can be difficult emotionally, since many possessions have sentimental value. Letting go of mementos – especially those from a loved one – can be hard. In addition to the emotional anguish, shuffling objects around can be physically tiring.
Since downsizing takes hard work, causes stress and is time-consuming, the best way to tackle it is by planning and starting early. This way, you will have ample time to make good choices about your possessions. Incorporate these tips as you downsize:
- Go at your own pace.
- Start with rooms and closets you rarely use.
- Decide what to do with big furniture pieces first, to give you momentum to continue.
- Go through personal papers and photographs early in the process, since these take the most time to examine and determine whether to keep, give to children or shred.
- Be practical – keep at most two of any item, and discard worn or broke belongings. If you haven’t used or worn the item in a year, chances are you don’t need it, so donate it to charity or give it to loved ones if it is in good condition.
- Keep furniture that is scaled to smaller spaces, serves more than one purpose and/or has built-in storage space.
- Take photos of items you can’t keep and bring the photos with you to your new home.
- Ask friends, family members for assistance. If you are a caregiver helping a senior downsize, keep this advice in mind:
- Be understanding – downsizing is a tough job.
- Don’t push or rush the senior.
- Offer as much guidance as needed but don’t force it.
- Let the elder make his/her own decisions.
- Help him/her stay focused on completing one small area at a time.
If you are moving soon, stay organized and on track with a moving checklist.
posted by Rita Ude