Downsizing? Re-sizing? A Challenge by any name.
Remember: It is a process!! You don’t downsize all at once. You do what you can the first time, review later and see what you really do not want or need.
Always keep a thrift store bag handy. Even though you have downsized, every 3 months or so you will want to give away something you don’t need – most often clothing. Besides, if you never give anything away then you will never have room for anything new. 😊
Here we go:
• If you aren’t planning to do yard work, leave or sell all the big tools, shovels, spades multiple rakes etc. Of course, sell the lawnmower.
• Take only half as many outdoor flower containers as you have. Just keep what you like!
• How long has it been since you have changed your oil? Ditch the paraphernalia. Jiffy Lube is on every corner. They do it faster and neater (not cheaper, but so what).
• One garden hose will do. Leave the yard fertilizer, paint rollers, paint cans, etc.
• Remove old, treasured photos from their frames, and store them in boxes. That saves weight and space.
• Keep just those photos in frames you want to see every day. You will find a place to enjoy them. I have two food related photos leaned up against the backsplash area in the kitchen. They add color.
• Save your special display objects. You will figure out space for them or rotate seasonally.
• Go through Christmas décor and purge, purge, purge.
• In the bedrooms: just how many blankets and spreads do one or two people need? Homeless shelters need them.
• How many times per year will guest rooms be used? Is it worth keeping things in place for use 3 nights a year? Use a guest room at your facility and let them wash the sheets.
• Keep one or maybe two sets of dishes for only 8 or 10 max. You’ll never serve 12. Same for cutlery.
• In addition to cooking pans, you can do fine with only 2 cake pans, 3 baking dishes, one pizza pan and a limited number of bowls and other necessary small kitchen items. (Go try out the meal service.)
• Curtains take up space, get dirty and dated. Instead, consider blinds or shades that fit into the window space, make rooms look larger, and catch less dust.
• Repurpose things like books on display and give away all but your favorite decorative items. Remember, keep what you really want and give away the rest!
• If your furniture is too big replace it with the right size especially with bedroom furniture.
• Have your closets fitted with specialty shelving to maximize storage and ease of use for you.
• You will not want multiple rugs, that are tripping hazards. One or two are all you need. Keep your favs.
• Hanging a TV saves a bunch of space. And ditch those old movies.
• Be sure to join the community and take part in things it offers. Pickle ball anyone?
• After a time, reconsider how many vehicles you are using. Is this the time to go to one car and a bike (don’t forget your helmet)?
• Buy or use your sturdy and safe two step stool to reach things on high or call maintenance to do it for you. Get rid of all those six and eight foot step ladders and never use a chair as a step stool!
Lastly, hire a senior mover specialist. They have valuable advice just for you. They will know the layout of your new place and will know what will fit and what will not fit. They also will take your excess items to thrift stores, auction houses and the dump. They do all the work. You just sort. Often the mover specialist knows what will sell and what to give away too. When arriving at the new place they will unpack, hang pictures, and place your furniture. Their expertise is worth the price and spares you stress on moving day.
Enjoy the move while meeting new people, discovering new things, and having more time for what you like to do. Be sure to stay away from yard sales! There is nothing more you need!
It can be disappointing when your children reject your offer of a treasured item you have been saving for them. It’s a different time; so, sell or give away what they don’t want. Then have a little sadness, take a photo to stay with you, and move on.
Contributed by: Jackie King
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