Wednesday, 22 January 2020 07:40

What do I keep, throw out or donate?

My work week is spent assisting Seniors in their homes. Sometimes it’s about helping a Senior client declutter and reorganise their retirement home. At other times I am assisting with the downsizing and moving process to a smaller home. There is always a discussion on what to keep, what to throw away or recycle and what to donate. Here are some tips to help you when you are ready to do this:


Here I deal with the paperwork you need to hold onto.

  • Paperwork you need to keep for 6 years:

ü  Bank statements

ü  Contracts

ü  Tax returns

ü  Pension documents

ü  Annuity records

ü  Medical invoices

ü  Documents related to home ownership

ü  or current rental agreements

  • Personal Records to keep together in a safe place:

ü  Adoption, birth and death certificates

ü  Marriage and divorce certificates

ü  ID documents

ü  Passports, including past Passports if you have

ü  Current Will, Living Will, Letter of last instructions

ü  Power of Attorney

ü  Medical Records

ü  Insurance records

ü  Details of bank accounts and numbers

ü  Passwords


This is a general list to get you going.

ü  Damaged, stained or broken items no one else can use

ü  Invitations to past events

ü  Expired guarantees

ü  User manuals for items you no longer own

ü  Old magazines and newspapers

ü  Recipes and cookbooks you haven’t used in the last 2 years

ü  Books you won’t read again

ü  Coffee table books you never look at

ü  Out of date maps and map books

ü  Travel brochures

ü  Articles you meant to read and haven’t

ü  Photos – be ruthless with poor quality photos, duplicates etc

ü  Unfinished projects

ü  Receipts for non-tax-deductible items


Do NOT donate anything broken, damaged or incomplete. Make sure items are in good working order. (My rule is only donate items you would use or buy)

ü  Clothing in good condition

ü  Useable linen and towels

ü  Electronics and electrical goods

ü  Ornamentals and framed artwork

ü  Toys

ü  Books

ü  Stationery in good order

ü  Craft and hobby materials

ü  Kitchenware, crockery and cutlery

ü  Glassware and vases

ü  Any other items you no longer love or use

These tips are really just a general guide. There is plenty more I could add! And I am sure you could too!

Contact Us

Telephone: +27 (0)82 926 3531