There are reasons seniors downsize their homes after retirement. For many, downsizing allows them to minimize costs and make mobility easier. For others, it is also a means to be closer to medical help and spend more time with the family.
However, to effectively downsize into a smaller house, one must get rid of a lot of stuff that has accumulated over the years. And if you’re suddenly moving from a 4-bedroom home to an all-inclusive one-bedroom apartment, this can be a physically and emotionally grueling process.
That said, here are some items that would probably have to go first:
1. Clothes that you never wear
Your wardrobe from the 80s may be close to your heart, but they will only consume more space in your smaller home, space that you need to maximize. Instead of packing the clothes that you never wear, give them away to your family members or donate them. If you want, save a few pieces that hold extra sentimental value. Save only the clothes that you tend to wear every day and a few outfits to wear during special occasions.
Unless your mementos can fit in a shoebox, start getting rid of the ones that you don’t really want anymore. After all, you’re not really using them until you want to take a trip down memory lane. Save the letters, postcards, and tickets but get rid of the bulky items such as high school trophies, baseball caps, and stuffed animals.
Do you really need to keep that decorative figure you got an amusement park 10 years ago? Or the snow globe that you don’t remember which city you got from? Many knick-knacks are likely just there because you’ve gotten so used to seeing them that it’s hard to throw them out. Aside from taking up space, they also tend to gather dust. Hence, when downsizing, take the opportunity to get finally get rid of them.
4. Unnecessary kitchen equipment
When you have a big kitchen, it’s easy for stuff to accumulate over the years, especially gadgets and equipment that were bought on a whim. Before moving to a smaller place, take only the necessary equipment that you need and leave the ones that you don’t really use, like the 3-in-1 breakfast maker that you never learned to operate or the stove-top grill you use once in a blue moon.
5. CDs and DVDs
Vinyl records hold some value and are great collectibles, so it’s understandable if you don’t want to get rid of those. CDs and DVDs, however, are no longer essential when there’s the Internet. If you have a big collection of CDs and DVDs, ask your children or grandchildren to find you digital copies of them so you can have access without having to physically rifle through them.
These are just some of the items that you can get rid of before moving to a smaller house, but it’s a good place to start. Saying goodbye to belongings is not always easy, especially if you are a very sentimental person, but it’s a necessary part of downsizing. If you are having trouble letting go, ask your family and friends for help.