Wednesday, 08 June 2016 06:07

Retirement/Downscaling Tips

So here we are again! In the last couple of weeks I have been working with an elderly couple as they downscale and move from their lovely family home of 30 years to a one bedroom apartment in a retirement complex. Initially it was very hard for them, as they had to let go of most of their furniture and treasured possessions collected over the years. We took our time, as they talked about the memories and said their goodbyes to children’s toys and artwork, items collected over years of travelling, collectables and the hardest of all, their photographs.

Here are some ways to help you, or someone you know, with the downscaling process:

Questions to ask as you start:

  • How little can I get by with (and still be comfortable) at my new place?
  • Which of the items I own now are really important to me?
  • Will it still be useful or functional in my new home?
  • Can this item save space by serving two functions?
  • Is this piece of furniture comfortable?
  • Will this fit in my new space?

Sort into categories:

  • things to keep
  • possessions to give to friends and family
  • items to be sold
  • discards to be donated to charities
  • trash, broken objects, and other items to be thrown away or recycled
  • things I can't decide about now and need to think more about

How to help you let go:

  • take photos of those treasured items you really want to remember
  • give treasured keepsakes to family and friends
  • know that your treasures are going to people who love and appreciate them
  • donate serviceable items to charities that help the less fortunate

Finally, if you are helping someone with this process, or tackling your own move to a smaller home, take time to do it. It is a tiring process both physically and emotionally, so be prepared.

My advice is to do a little each day, go room by room, cupboard by cupboard until you have been through the house. Have a space for all items that are going, and move them on as quickly as possible.

Remember the end goal! A warm, uncluttered space, with your treasures and most loved possessions. A home you will feel comfortable in.

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