There’s something about the warm weather, bright sunshine, and blossoming flowers of spring that bring out the urge to de-clutter in all of us. Spring is a season of rebirth, so cleaning out your closets is a natural reaction. If you’re like most people, you probably have a bounty of belongings you don’t need, use, or want anymore.
Downsizing becomes a necessity for many older adults. Once children move out and the need for extra space decreases, transitioning to smaller homes or retirement living communities is often a logical next step. However, less space means less stuff, and many older adults struggle to get rid of their possessions.
Ten years ago, “downsizing” wasn’t even part of your vocabulary. Today, you see and hear the word everywhere. It’s in the mailings you receive from AARP. Journalists are discussing it in your daily online newspaper. Even your friends brought it up when you saw them over dinner last week. And you’re starting to wonder: Should I start thinking about downsizing?
Chances are you dreamed about the day you’d purchase your first home. You may have even been fortunate enough to “upsize” into an even larger home since that first purchase. But now, the more you look around you, the more you’re thinking a smaller abode—whether that’s another house, an apartment, or even a place at a retirement living community—may be more ideal.
The following was written by Kendal at Home Members Dan and Marly. It appeared in the 2012 Spring issue of LeChat.
Whether you’re planning to move to a retirement community or simply downsizing to a smaller home, figuring out which of your belongings to keep, toss, or donate can be a big challenge. In addition to not knowing what you might need or miss in the future, you also have to navigate emotional attachments when making your decisions.
To help you get started on this difficult (but often necessary) task, we’ve compiled a breakdown of three categories that will help guide your process.
When we're young and raising families, it makes sense to save all kinds of things. We hang onto our children's favorite toys and start amassing boxes of school papers and treasured art work. We collect jars of odd-sized screws and nails that may some day come in handy. We save old magazines, reams of construction paper, and tubs of broken crayons just in case they're needed for a future school project.