If you’re a baby boomer, you might be thinking about downsizing your current home. Whether you plan on moving into an apartment, a smaller home or an assisted living facility, you will likely have less space to work with. Not to mention, it’s not practical to move with everything you own! Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make the transition easier.
Below are five tips for downsizing your home and getting a fresh start someplace new!
1. Aim for a Simpler Life
You may be ready to have a “simpler” life. This is normal. As we age, we realize that happiness doesn’t come from material things but rather relationships and experiences. Getting rid of material objects can be liberating. It can also help you feel more organized and in control. Keep this mindset as you part with your belongings.
2. Sort Rooms One at a Time
You’ll feel overwhelmed if you tackle too much at one time. A good rule of thumb is to go room by room. Dedicate a couple of hours each day or week to clean out drawers and closets. It’s helpful to have bins when you organize your rooms – one for “gifts”, one for “keeping”, one for “donating” and one for “throwing away”. Anything that is chipped, stained or broken should be tossed.
3. Hold an Estate Sale or Garage Sale
The nice thing about an estate sale is that people can go through your rooms and take large items such as dressers and bed frames. You get cash in hand and the big stuff taken out of your home. If you’re not comfortable with an estate sale, consider having a garage sale instead. Again, it’s a great way to clean out the home, make extra cash and see that your items are going to other people. Other options include consignment shops and listing items online.
4. Gift Meaningful Items to Loved Ones
If you have belongings that are meaningful, consider gifting them to loved ones. There are two benefits to this. First, it’s less stuff to bring with to your new place, and things like antiques and collections will be safer than in an apartment. Second, you have the opportunity to decide who your belongings go to.
5. Digitize Photos and Artwork
You can hire a company or ask a loved one to digitize photos and artwork from the grandkids. Digital files take up much less space than physical photos. Uploading photos onto a flash drive is easiest. This way, you can plug the flash drive into your computer or digital picture frame to enjoy the photos at any time.
Moving is a big transition – but now you have a whole life to sort through! Be proud of yourself for the progress you make and remember that the best things in life come from people and experiences. It’s OK to let the “stuff” go.