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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Bell

Thinking of Downsizing or Decluttering?

I was recently asked to write a guest blog for Furniture Bank with downsizing tips and I also offered a few more on Marilyn Wetston’s latest radio show, “From a Woman’s Perspective” that airs on Saturday mornings at 8:00 am on Zoomer Radio.

Spring seems to be around the corner and plans are beginning to take shape.  Now is the time to get started on that project that you have been thinking about. Whether you are planning an upcoming move or whether you would simply like to re-claim and reorganize your existing space, here are a few things to consider:

Whenever I am asked to share decluttering and downsizing advice I begin by suggesting that people begin the process early.  You or your parents may have lived in their existing home for decades.  Sometimes people consider their furniture pieces but they don’t always give too much thought to the contents of each drawer, cupboard and closet in their home. We won’t even mention the basement and garage or storage locker.  Start Early.  It takes longer than you think.

My second suggestion is to take things a zone or a room at a time.  If you are making decisions yourself or with your aging parent, plan on working for three or four hour sessions so that the process does not become too exhausting. It can be tiring to go down memory lane. Some memories will make you smile but not all will be happy ones.  If you are working with another family member know that not everyone will experience these memories in the same way.  My advice is to work in shorter spans and keep the project focused.  There is a greater sense of accomplishment.

Thirdly, make decisions around what to keep, what to gift to family, what to sell or donate and what to do with what’s left over.  Often people accumulate a lot of paper over time that is no longer wanted or needed. Separate what can be safely recycled and what should be shredded.  If time permits, recyclables can be put out in the Blue Bin over a few pick-ups. Services like Toronto’s Toxic Taxi can sometimes come by for old paints etc. by appointment.  It is cost effective to be both organized and strategic when you are approaching this kind of project.

Many of my older clients are simply happy to be rid of the things that they have accumulated over decades. Sometimes they have inherited other family members’ belongings and they are still tucked away in boxes in the basement.You may rightly believe that these items are too good to simply toss but you are more than happy to donate these things so that others will be able to benefit.  The donations landscape has changed quite a bit of late but organizations like Furniture Bank will still pick up some items from your home.  While there is a charge for this pick-up, I have found their tax receipts to be generous.   You are able to eliminate some of the items that you no longer have space for and needy recipients are able to benefit from your generosity.

Finally, know when you or your aging parents can use knowledgeable guidance, support and practical assistance throughout the project.  A savvy and sensitive Senior Move Manager can objectively ensure that your upcoming move is seamless and you and your family can enjoy peace of mind. Bonded and insured, we do the worrying so that you don’t have to.

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