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To Purge or not to Purge: Downsizing Advice for Seniors

Whether moving in with family, transitioning to a senior living facility or moving to a smaller, more manageable
home, downsizing is an inevitability for most seniors. Downsizing is the process of decluttering and purging
belongings you no longer need. It makes it easier to manage your day-to-day affairs and keep things clean, which
makes for a more orderly and environmentally friendly living space.

With fewer physical encumbrances, youíre free to pursue more of the things you love and want to do and spend time
with people who mean the most to you. But itís not an easy thing to do. It means parting with objects that may have
been with you for a lifetime, many of which may have special meaning. Here are a few tips aimed at making
downsizing a bit easier for you.

Downsize to scale
Bear in mind the size of the space youíre moving to. If you only have two bedrooms, thereís no need to haul along
four sets of bed clothing or seven pillows and pillowcases. Another good way to gauge how much downsizing youíll
need to do is to measure the rooms and wall lengths in your new home. That way youíll know what furniture will fit
and what wonít. Itís amazing how much space you can free up and how much cleaning time you can save yourself
by getting rid of as much big stuff (couches, coffee tables, etc.).

It might have been awhile since you have looked for a new home. You will need to find the best mortgage that will fit
your budget. Borrowers will need to check their credit history, down payment and income to qualify for a low interest
rate. If needed, you should consult a financial planner or mortgage lender to examine current interest rates, monthly
mortgage payments and other financial obligations.

Get a jump on it
If youíre working on a timetable, the last thing you want to do is wait to the last minute to get started. Downsizing
should be a deliberate undertaking, and itís worth taking your time to do it right. Think in terms of weeks, rather than
days or hours. Go room by room, handling each item and make a few dollars out of it all. One good rule of thumb is
to get rid of anything you havenít used within the past year.

Ease into it
Thereís no need to jump right into your most treasured possessions right away. Save the stuff thatís going to be the
toughest to go through for later, if not last. Ease into it by starting with the small stuff including your laundry room or
linen closet, which arenít likely to generate such strong emotions. Itíll be easier to get rid of stuff you can really do
without and give you a pleasant feeling of accomplishment, which will help motivate you to keep going.

If youíve ever wondered why you have two waffle irons, three lettuce strainers and eight potholders, nowís your time
to do something about all that stuff youíve gotten for Christmas and birthdays over the years. Downsize all your
duplicate belongings and donate them to charity or consider selling them on eBay. Thereís no sense dragging along
things youíve known for years you need to get rid of. Think of it as making room for fun new things that will add to
your quality of life.

Embrace your feelings
Be prepared to experience a range of emotions as you declutter and purge. You may come across belongings
youíve forgotten about, things that stir up powerful memories. Itís OK to cry, itís okay to hug, and itís perfectly fine to
stop and take a break while you collect your thoughts and make difficult decisions.

Moving means youíre starting a whole new chapter in your life. Decluttering and downsizing will make it much easier
to start fresh and see things from a new perspective, which is important if youíre moving to new and unfamiliar

Article Submitted (2019) By:
Janet Campbell

Janet Campbell is the writer of this article and creator of ElderSpark. Her mission is to encourage people of all ages
to live their healthiest and happiest lives ever. She strives to provide information on senior wellness and safety as
well as ideas for how to make the most of this beautiful chapter of our lives.


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