Now that you’ve retired and your children are grown, you are probably living in a house that’s too big, filled with things you no longer need. You may be ready to move to senior living and enter a new stage of life, but what do you do with all this stuff?
A Few Tips to Help you Downsize
- The sooner the better. If you are reading this while you still have a few years until the move, begin to figure out what you want to keep and what you need to get rid of. And start getting rid of it.
- Take your time. You spent years accumulating this stuff, so you’re not going to be able to sort through it all in a weekend.
- Start in the attic and basement. Chances are that you haven’t used some of the things you’ve stored there in years.
- Talk to your sons and daughters. If their childhood possessions are still at your house, ask them to come and get them. Ask if there are any things of yours — furniture, jewelry, or so — that they’d like to have now.
- There are only two choices for each item: Keep it, or get rid of it. If you are on the fence, it’s probably something you don’t need to hang on to.
If your move is sooner, rather than later, or if the thought of it is overwhelming, here are 10 resources to help you downsize.
Find Someone to Take Care of It All
- National Association of Senior Move Managers — Senior move managers are companies that specialize in all aspects of senior downsizing: organizing, determining what to keep, selling or donating what you want to get rid of, and even hiring movers and helping you pack. Visit the association’s website to find a company near you.
Sell What You Don’t Need
Holding an estate sale is a great way to clear out a house stuffed with a lifetime’s worth of possessions. The companies listed below arrange estate sales in the North Metro Atlanta area.
Consignment stores will do the work of finding potential buyers for your possessions. You get a percentage of the profits if the item sells.
- Church Ladies Furniture Consignment in Duluth will sell your furniture and household goods.
- Alexis Suitcase in Johns Creek will sell gently used clothing that you no longer wear.
Donate Unwanted Possessions
Several charities, including those listed below, will pick up donations of furniture or other large items.
Digitize Your Music and Your Memories
A lifetime’s worth of photographs, whether stored in boxes or displayed in albums, can take up a great deal of space, as can all your music CDs.
- Modern Image — This company converts your photographs and home movies to digital images that can be played on your computer or cellphone.
- MusicShifter — This company does the same thing for your CDs.
Assisted living communities like Arbor Terrace of Johns Creek have plenty of experience helping seniors relocate, and know what a challenge it is to downsize. They can be a great resource during this transitional time. Call them at 770-999-9577 to find out more, or to schedule a tour.