Downsizing. Does the word immediately make you feel overwhelmed? Downsizing doesn’t mean throwing away your cherished possessions. It’s simply trimming down the items you’ll no longer need. Beginning the process as soon as you seriously start to consider a move into senior living will make the project almost fun. You might want to talk to your favorite family members and friends to see if they have interest or need for something you have. The thank yous you’ll receive will make it well worth it.
If you’ve picked out your floor plan and know your square footage, you can make decisions about the furniture. Will you want to keep your car? That depends if your new community has convenient transportation, like The Atriums. With The Atriums restaurant-style meals and menu choices, you won’t need many of your household kitchen items. Your garage or workshop may be filled with tools, but here, the maintenance, both indoors and out, is done for you.
Make a list.
Downsizing goes better with a little planning. Make a chart with a room-by-room inventory. Create columns labeled: Keep It, Toss It, Donate It, Gift It. You might want to get round stickers and color code each item. Invite a friend or family member to stay with you during this process for moral support and for advice. There’s an old adage: If you haven’t used it or looked at it for a year, you probably don’t need it.
As you look at each item, let these questions guide your decision:
Do you absolutely want to keep it?
Would a family member or friend enjoy it?
Is the item in good enough shape to donate to charity? List out those items along with the condition and keep it for your tax records.
If you are going to give away something that was meaningful to you, take a photo and frame it. It will keep the memory close.
Pick, Pack and Go
The day you decide to start picking and packing up items to sell, pass on to family members or donate may be filled with emotion. It also will probably take longer than a day. So just take on one room at a time. If you have second thoughts about giving away certain items, that’s to be expected. It’s okay to change your mind, but consider why this item was put on the list in the first place.
You Can Do It
The more time you have to downsize, the less exhausting the process is and the better you’ll get at making decisions. Once it’s done, kick back and relax. Job well done.