You have no doubt heard the term “downsizing,” but what does that mean? Simply put, it means economizing or downscaling. It can happen at your home, by moving to a smaller home, or while transitioning to a different living situation. It is a modification of your lifestyle due to a significant event or turning point, a passage from one life phase to another. Late life is a time of multiple transitions: retirement, loss of spouse, financial concerns, and health conditions. It can evoke emotional feelings of upheaval and disequilibrium. But it can also be a much-needed fresh start!
Reasons Why People Downsize
When moving or downsizing, the amount of belongings to go through can be quite overwhelming, especially if you have lived in a home for decades. You may think “Oh my goodness, where did all this stuff come from?” Getting rid of “stuff” can be liberating. There is no way to get organized or have a successful move without first decluttering.
Parting with Belongings
At various stages of life, our home and possessions may no longer suit our lifestyle. People move, remodel, and redecorate. This is not unusual for executives who move regularly, young adults with growing families, retiring homeowners, and elderly individuals with changes in mental, physical, and financial status.
To some, especially the elderly, parting with belongings means parting with memories. It is important to remember that memories are in your head and your heart. Plus, you can create new, wonderful memories. Older people want to hold onto things to keep in touch with the past. They need to be cognizant that you can’t hold onto all of your things; you want to live more in the present. People think stuff is so important but often feel so liberated when they have downsized.
Be sure to appraise valuables. You may need someone experienced in selling valuables to assist you. Be prepared for things to be worth far less than you expected.
You can sell items to thrift stores or through Craigslist, MoveLoot.com, EBay, and other online companies. You can have a garage sale. But you must keep in mind that no matter how important things are to you, and no matter how much you paid for them, they will generally bring in less money than you expect. You need to be realistic, grit your teeth, and let it go. A Professional Organizer can help you set up, sell, and tear down a garage sale.
There are many resources for donating items and getting a tax write-off. Generally donations must be in good condition and in working order. See below for a list of resources in the Los Angeles area.
In the best of circumstances, plans have been made in advance. For seniors, there are many housing choices – independent living, assisted living, active adult communities, living at home with assistance and modifications. The following are some specialists that may prove helpful:
We have all moved at one time or another, and most of us several times. Let’s face it – it’s an arduous undertaking for most of us. It can be very overwhelming, for a myriad of reasons – emotional, physical, and psychological. See my steps to make an organized move. This is when a Professional Organizer can come into play. She/he can make arrangements and assist with everything from A-Z.
Hiring a Professional Organizer
Hiring a Professional Organizer who understands what you are going through and is sensitive to your feelings is a definite plus. Downsizing and moving can be a very emotionally draining experience. Be sure you are comfortable working with your organizer. See my blog post about hiring a Professional Organizer.
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Tips & Hints
See www.iluvorganizing.com/tips for the following articles:
“Working with Baby Boomers and the Elderly”
“How to Have a Profitable Garage Sale”
“How to Donate Unwanted Items in Los Angeles”
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In closing, if you decide to downsize or move, make the decision and DO IT. Downsizing is an opportunity to create a new life in a new space. Seriously, it can be a positive experience! It can be empowering!
Organizing can cause extreme happiness!
That's why I Luv Organizing.
Don't try this alone!