Practical Guide to Downsizing

This article was originally run in Touchmark Retirement’s March Newsletter

A Practical Guide to Downsizing Part II

Everyone will face downsizing. I prefer to think of it as right-sizing your life. You’re not losing space and sacrificing belongings; you’re gaining a new season of freedom!

In this second edition of this series, and I’m going to help you with decision-making.

ARE THERE ANY RULES OF THUMB TO SIMPLIFY THINNING YOUR BELONGINGS?

Before you toss an item in a box, determine what category it belongs to and group it with its type.  For example, even though photos and memorabilia may be strewn throughout the house, you can set up boxes in the living room into which all memorabilia will be added as you pack.  That way, you will know how much space your memorabilia requires, and you can plan its future “home” in your new environment.

Grouping items by type can be shocking once you see all of your similar belongings together.  You may discover that you own a disproportionate number of items in one category, like household linens, for example.  As you behold a gigantic mound of sheets, bedding, and throw pillows, you may be more willing to pare down that category.

Identifying your priorities, realistically evaluating the available space in your new home, and grouping your belongings by type before you pack will make it easier to let go of your excess.

SHOULD YOU PART WITH ANTIQUES & ITEMS OF VALUE?

Antiques have at least two kinds of value: retail value and sentimental value.  You must first determine which type of value your antiques offer.  If you are keeping something simply because it “cost a lot” or “might be worth something someday,” then you are banking on its retail value.  You can only cash in on this purported value, however, if you are willing to part with the goods.

If you are holding onto items because they evoke precious memories, that is a legitimate reason for retaining the item, within reason.  No conscientious friend or professional should advise you to dispose of an object if it would break your heart.

 

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