DOWNSIZING Knowing Where and When to Start

Dated: 01/02/2013

Views: 443

It’s like dieting after the holidays – we all know we need to do it.  It’s just so hard to get started that we often put it off.  We are talking about getting rid of all of that STUFF.  Preparing your home for sale and your move.  Parting with keepsakes that evoke memories.  It all seems so overwhelming, so we just put it off.  But that doesn’t solve the problem and it often just causes more stress.  So the following steps are a guide that will help you get started. 

Take a look around – conduct an honest assessment of your home and its contents. If you are moving to a smaller home, how much will you really need?  Ask yourself these questions:

Do I know the sizes of the rooms I am living and the corresponding sizes of rooms I am moving to?

Am I moving to a space that does not have the same number and type of rooms? (Garages, sheds, home office spaces are examples.)

Identify the items you MUST keep

Heirlooms that you cannot part with, the favorite chair that has finally conformed to you, the perfect bedside table

Identify the items you want family members to have

This one is a bit tricky as the family member you choose to bestow your player piano or favorite buffet table to may not want it.  The harsh truth is that most family members rarely want to take items that are given to them due to cost in transporting them, lack of space in their own home to display them or simple difference in styles and tastes.  Confirm with your family and friends before tagging that item that they really will be removing it from your home.

Identify the items you want to donate

Many of your gently used items qualify for donation to charities such as Goodwill and Salvation Army.  You may also look around your community for some religious organizations who accept donations that other organizations do not to aid their specific causes.  And whenever possible, get a receipt for the donation and itemize what was donated. 

Identify the items for trash and recycling

The good news is that with the host of options out there today for reuse and recycling of items, very little of your possessions need to go to the landfill. You may not know the person who wants your items, but that’s where sources such as Craig’s List comes in handy.  Several resources are:

Craig’s List and Craig’s List Curb Alert


Lastly, if you want to get started but you don’t know how, enlist the help of professional.  Senior move managers are expert in downsizing and getting you on your way to your new lifestyle.  Golden Moves, a company that specializes in senior transitions can help you get started.  Pam Magnani, a certified Senior Move Manager through the National Association of Senior Move Mangers, is the owner of Golden Moves. While managing her mother’s downsizing of the family home, she recognized the need for these services for others and launched the company that adds form to the process.  Golden Moves recognizes each family has different needs, so flexibility is the key to success – they can manage as many or as few components as you wish.  Visit their website at for more information.  

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