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The Shore Life Blog

What to Do with Your Belongings when Downsizing Your Home

Senior Living | 04/20/18


Spring has officially sprung, and it’s time to welcome in this fresh season of rebirth. The air is getting warmer, the trees are budding, the flowers are blooming, and there’s new life everywhere you look. Open the windows and the let that fresh air in while you start one of the most important tasks of the season: spring cleaning.

While spring cleaning usually involves deep cleaning your home, like steam cleaning carpets, washing bedding and drapery, and giving your floors a good scrubbing, it’s also a great time to clear out some clutter. And, if you’re going to be downsizing your home in the near future, there’s no time like the present to sort through those storage spaces and start making decisions about all the belongings you’ve acquired over the years you’ve spent in your home.

Your Personal Property: 5 Easy Steps to Downsize Your Belongings

There’s no doubt that a major component of the downsizing process is deciding what you’ll do with your personal property, especially those items that have monetary or sentimental value. Will you sell them in an estate sale? Designate them to go to a family member? Donate them? The sooner you devise a plan for your belongings, the less stress you’ll feel when moving day approaches. Additionally, your wishes will be clearly communicated, and any issues that could lead to family conflicts or misunderstandings will be handled in advance.

If you’ve gone as far as to research senior living communities and have already chosen where you’ll be spending the next phase of your life, obtain a floor plan of your new home so you have a better idea of how many items you can take with you. However, even if you haven’t reached this step, you should know that everything you own will likely not be coming along when you downsize your home. This is why one of the best downsizing tips is to start making those decisions about your belongings sooner rather than later.

Here are the five steps you should take as you prepare to downsize:

  1. Sort through, organize and inventory items. The first step is to assess your personal property. In other words, begin going through your closets, attic, basement and other storage areas and organize your items into similar categories. This will make it easier for you to see everything, set aside duplicates, throw away damaged or broken items, and decide what you absolutely need to keep and what will be sold or given to family members.
  2. Set a limit. Allot yourself a certain amount of space for your items, keeping in mind you may have less storage in your new, smaller home. For instance, you may love your library full of books, but if you won’t have a designated library room in the future, you should only take along your favorites.
  3. Appraise your items. Once you’ve defined what valuable items may or may not be making the move with you, it’s time to get them appraised. Consider hiring a professional appraiser to assign official values to belongings, as they have the knowledge to accurately evaluate your items. If you have receipts or other documents for big-ticket items, keep those handy for the appraisal.
  4. Hold a family meeting. Once you’ve received the written appraisal, hold a family meeting to start those important conversations about your property. For instance, maybe your daughter has always coveted your wedding china, or your son would love to have the classic car sitting in your garage. Try to address any conflicts as they arise and make the designation process as fair and equal as possible.
  5. Assign items in writing. Finally, make it legal by getting everything in writing, specifying exactly what items will be going to which family member to avoid any confusion or conflicts in the future.

Downsize and Enjoy a Relaxed, Coastal Lifestyle at The Moorings at Lewes

At The Moorings at Lewes, the coastal lifestyle you crave is here. As the only continuing care retirement community near the Delaware beaches, we offer a variety of vibrant senior living options with peace of mind for your future.

Find out why you should downsize your home and enjoy everything our CCRC has to offer – contact us today.