4 More Essential Downsizing Tips. Add These to Your Checklist

Whether you are a recent empty-nester, have just retired, or are just looking for a smaller home with fewer upkeep needs in a 55+ community, downsizing is necessary. But where do you start? What do you need/want to keep or give away? Try these tips to make the downsizing process easier.

Start early

The sooner you start getting rid of unwanted items, the better. You don’t want to be frantically packing and throwing things away a few days before you move. Without a doubt, something will get thrown away that you wanted to keep, and unwanted things will accidentally be kept. The same applies to legacy or family gifts. Give them to their recipient early so you don’t have to worry about losing or breaking them in the move.

Make a rule for what stays and what goes.

It's easier to follow a hard and fast rule than to just wing it. Decide on a category of what to give away (seasonal decorations or clothes from a certain decade, for example). Or, decide that items that haven't been used in a given number of years are going away.

Give things away

If some unneeded items are still useful, consider giving them to friends or family or donating them. Charities and shelters always accept blankets, cold weather gear, and gently used bags or backpacks. In addition, consider giving canned and non-perishable foods to shelters as well if you don’t want to travel with your entire pantry. Items like dishes, furniture, clothes, and books can be donated to places like Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul.

Rent a dumpster

Anything that you won't be taking and can’t be donated should be thrown away. Bulky, broken, or unwanted items can be thrown in a rental dumpster and hauled away when you are done. Old furniture, broken electronics, firewood (if your new place doesn't have a fireplace), and garage clutter can all be tossed in the dumpster and the rental company hauls it away. Piece of cake!

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