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Trash or Treasure: A Guide to Downsizing Your Belongings for Seniors

Tips on Downsizing for Seniors

With a lifetime of memories and belongings, many seniors feel overwhelmed by the process of downsizing or de-cluttering.  Most importantly, they’re not sure where to start or how to determine, what is trash and what is treasure?  But don’t let this prevent you from taking the step!

Whether you have an upcoming move to a smaller home, or the sheer amount of clutter is giving you anxiety, downsizing has many benefits! Not only do you free up space, but you also gain more time to focus on what’s important.  Simplifying your surroundings reduces stress levels and allows you to feel more in control.  Often times our belongings sap us of valuable mental and physical energy without our realizing it.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need help downsizing, follow the guidelines below and prepare to go from chaos to calm! 

Tips on Downsizing for Seniors

Key Questions to Ask Yourself Before Downsizing

Before you embark on this worthwhile project, consider this, our belongings can have an emotional hold on us.  To take the emotion out of your decisions, here are 8 questions to ask yourself about an item in question.  We promise the answers will bring you purpose and motivation!

  • Is it necessary?
  • Does this bring me joy?
  • Do I need it or just want it?
  • Have I used it in the last year?
  • Will it fit into a smaller space? (in case you’re downsizing your living space)
  • Would a family member or friend appreciate this item or use it?
  • Is it worth the space it’s taking up in my home?
  • For decorative items, does this make me happy or is it clutter?

Where To Start?

For many of us, the hardest part can be deciding where to begin.  We recommend you start one room at a time, preferably, one that you spend a lot of time in.  Next, find or purchase 4 boxes or containers to separate into the following:

1) keep,

2) pass onto a friend/family member,

3) donate, and  

4) sell/throw away.

If you know you should let something go but you don’t want to, simply take a picture of it, that way, you’ll always have it. 

The most common items to downsize include decorative knick-knacks, books, magazines, unused kitchen appliances/gadgets, shoes, and purses. 

Secondary items include clothes you haven’t worn or are out-of-date, holiday decor and items from the past that aren’t keepsakes.  After completing this rewarding project, try to commit monthly to sorting through items that you have used, read, or no longer need.

Your Minneapolis & St. Paul Senior Downsizing Expert

Downsizing your belongings now will pay off in more ways than you can imagine. We hope you found this guide to downsizing valuable! However, if help is what you need, contact Spaces Reinvented.  Based in the Twin Cities, Spaces Reinvented can assist you with downsizing related tasks such as sorting, organizing, and deciding what will fit in your existing or new home. We also offer interior design and home staging services. Simply put, we love transforming spaces from ordinary to extraordinary! Contact us today to design your perfect downsized living space!

Senior Downsizing: 8 Questions to Ask Yourself
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