DOWNSIZING – IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME?

With summer behind us, now is a time that many rethink the downsizing idea and utilize the fall to begin the process. Downsizing is daunting at best but can be especially important for seniors, whose homes have often been the repository of decades of collecting – and living. What may appear to just be clutter can indeed also be a trap. Many seniors feel they can’t leave their homes because they have so much stuff, so now may be the time to start working through the years of collecting so seniors can experience more freedom in their lives.

Here are some tips to help begin the process of helping older adults get rid of “Stuff”.

  1. Start Now- or better yesterday

No one thinks they should have waited longer to start the task, especially when knee deep in boxes.

  1. Questions require answers

When going through items before just trying to get rid of an item- ask the older adult about it- when did you last wear it? Is it sentimental? Does it work?

  1. Take a picture of it before it goes

What is important is the memory that the object evokes. With this in mind, take photographs of precious items that can be reviewed when needed.

  1. Junk or Treasure

What is one man’s treasure is another man’s junk. We are all familiar with this- take the time to evaluate and categorize items.

  1. Put in a nice box

OK, we all have items we just can’t get rid. For these get some nice, new boxes and put the items in them. Label them well with the contents. In 6 months or year’s time – revisit whether the post was even looked into- if not you may have the opportunity to get rid of it.

  1. Not all at Once

No one gets rid of all the stuff in one session. So be easy on yourself and the homeowner, knowing that it will take time and several visits to sort through years of accumulation.

  1. Don’t do it all on your own

You may not be able to do this all on your own- ask for help from family, friends, and professionals. Here is one group to check out that may be of assistance: National Association of Senior Move Managers http://www.nasmm.org