Whether you're moving or helping a loved one move, downsizing is never easy. Choosing what to keep and give
away can be difficult. Here are some tips to consider during the process.
Assess the New Home
Knowing the measurements of your new living space and the sizes of your larger furniture
can help you decide what will fit and what can make the move. The Cottage offers this
Move-In Checklist along with a Move-in Wizard to help in the planning of your move. Bring
your loved one to the Cottage and introduce them to the new space. Listen to how they'd like to see
the space look and plan accordingly.
Start in Storage Areas
Moving out of a family home can be overwhelming. Start small. Take a day to talk about the move. Small
tasks, such as going through a desk drawer or a box from the attic, is a good starting point. Spend only
15 to 20 minutes a day on one task. Taking small steps will help your loved one get used to
the idea of moving. Typically rooms that are used for storage contain less sentimental items that are
being stored rather than used. Try starting in the attic, laundry room or spare bedroom.
Pack as You Go
Sort, pile, and pack as you go through each room of the house. Keep items you're donating or giving to
family in a separate area. If they begin to accumulate, ask family members to pick
up their items. Donation piles may require multiple drop offs, or you may consider arranging a
pick up. Allow enough time so no one feels rushed. Sorting through belongings can be emotionally
Ask Questions About Each Item
Asking questions about the items you are deciding to keep or donate may help with the process. Here
is a list of questions to consider:
- When was this used last? How often is it used?
- Do I already own an item that serves the same purpose as this one?
- Does it have sentimental value?
- Would I have to replace it if I choose to get rid of it?
- Will it last for a long time?
- Does it need repair? How much will the repair cost?
- Do I know someone else who could use it?
Moving presents a significant change that's both physically and emotionally draining. Try to keep
these things in mind:
- Be sensitive of you and your loved one's feelings.
- Be patient and understanding.
- Give yourself time to work through it: rest, take breaks, talk to someone.
- Remember that belongings contain memories.
- Remember that items you can't decide on can go into storage.
- Remember that your goal is to simplify your life.
- Ask for help if you need it.