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Downsizing Boxes

Helpful Tips For Downsizing In Retirement

 |  Senior Living

One of the main reasons older adults put off downsizing or moving to a retirement community is needing to go through all of the items that have accumulated over the years. Yet, if done right, the process of downsizing—or rightsizing!—may not be as daunting as you think. By using some helpful tips for downsizing in retirement, it may even be enjoyable or refreshing at times. A lot of the physical work can be done by others, so your main role is to categorize, organize and direct. To help you begin the process, here are a few helpful tips for tackling downsizing.

Start Now

If you are thinking about moving, whether to a Life Plan community or a smaller home, then now is a good time to start the process of downsizing. Do not wait until you are ready to move. At that point, it can be overwhelming, and you will have other things that require your attention. Even if you ultimately decide not to move, you can feel assured that you have helped your family members out in the long run. By decluttering now, there will be less for them to go through one day.

Recognize That You Cannot Keep It All

To know what items you can and should purge, you first need to know which items you absolutely cannot part with. But here is the key: after you have created the initial list, pare it down even further. This can be a tough exercise, but the reality is that some of the things you think you need to save may not be necessary to keep after all. For example, that sport coat or blouse in the closet that you have held onto for 15 years because you are sure you will wear it again…it’s probably time to part with. That stack of magazines with holiday recipes dating back 10 years? Those can go too. Your most cherished recipes will not be hidden in a tall stack of magazines anyway, right?

Plus, one of the perks of a maintenance-free lifestyle at a Life Plan community like Carillon Senior Living is the freedom to let go of appliances and tools you won’t need anymore. Home maintenance, exterior maintenance and miscellaneous upkeep are all included in your monthly fee at Carillon, with staff managing any of your maintenance needs. So, you’re free to store only the items that have value to you—and to lose machinery like the lawnmower!

Your Kids May Not Want Your Stuff

Another popular reason for hanging on to various items is the idea that the kids or grandkids will want them. But many people eventually discover that the things they thought would be coveted by their adult children were not so desirable after all. To help sort this out, consider inviting your children over for a day to go through your things and find out what they actually want.

Sort By Large & Small

Once you know what you want to keep, make a list of big and small items. The big items are anything that will not fit into a regular size moving box, such as a sofa or table. As you consider these items, be sure to think about the dimensions and style of your new home so you will know if they will fit. Many Life Plan communities have move-in coordinators who can help you with this.

Obviously, it could be tough to list out every single smaller item, but you want to think about your most utilized items first. Consider things like silverware, pictures, books, kitchenware, etc.

While each of our independent residences at Carillon includes kitchen spaces to cook your meals, you don’t have to store everything! With Carillon’s four dining venues, you can free up kitchen storage space with only the kitchen appliances you use regularly and enjoy a variety of fine dining options from our various restaurants for your other meals.

Sell, Donate Or Discard?

Once you have decided which items are no longer needed, it is time to decide what to do with them. Create a separate list with three columns: Sell, donate and trash. As you consider what you want to sell, remember that items rarely bring in the amount of cash that the owner thinks they will. In some cases, it may simply be easier to donate or discard an item than to go to the trouble of trying to sell it.

However, if you feel sure it would be worth the time to try to sell some of your belongings, then there are several ways you can do this. You can try to sell them online with sites like eBay or Craigslist. (Please take caution if you use Craigslist or a similar website. If possible, meet the buyer in a public place and take someone with you.) Sometimes a good old-fashioned yard sale can do the job, but you will want to get someone to help you with the setup and break down. Alternately, if you have more than a few valuable items, there are sure to be any number of local companies that will administer an estate sale for you.

Hauling The Junk

Finally, after you have gone through the above-mentioned steps, there will probably be a lot of junk leftover. This would include things that have piled up in a garage or crawlspace over the years, such as old paint cans. There are many national companies that will come by and haul these away for you. All you have to do is point to the items you want to be removed, and they will recycle or trash the items accordingly.

Your Retirement Reward For Downsizing

The process of downsizing can surely be difficult to start, but what comes with it is the excitement of your move and the weightlessness of living how you please. With all of the upkeep taken care of, you’re free to enjoy an active, independent lifestyle and take advantage of all of the many lifestyle opportunities available to you. At Carillon, countless services and amenities, educational programs, cultural activities, and exercise programs are awaiting you at the finish line of your downsizing journey.

Whether you have a residence picked out or are just beginning your search into your ideal retirement lifestyle, we’re here to help. We encourage you to set up an appointment with us to see the community for yourself or contact us here for more information.


The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.