Don’t wait too late to downsize

By DAISY WASHINGTON / Community Columnist

The important point about downsizing is to do it before encountering a situation that forces you to do it. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce one’s number of belongings periodically and to hang onto what you need and care about the most.

Procrastination in this area could result in a family member inheriting the responsibility. Downsizing to a smaller space is typically a time-consuming project. But as an individual takes the necessary time and contemplates each phase, it is worth the effort and time.

Many seniors face this challenge due to medical conditions, size of their home, financial hardship, budgeting issues, or other extenuating circumstances. Whether it is the homeowner or an individual who happens to inherit the task, deciding which items to keep, donate, sell, trash or give away can be a daunting one.

Begin by inventorying items in each stuff-filled area (attic, basement, garage and closets and don’t forget to inspect bins and boxes) of the home you currently reside in. Set a realistic timeline in which to accomplish packing, donations, sale, etc. (be sure to consider commitments like caregiving and employment). Be honest with oneself regarding the items really needed to maintain the current lifestyle. Don’t keep (or donate) an item that is damaged or broken. Each of us is nostalgic when it comes to certain things, but don’t feel obligated to keep such items.

If one is clear on the intent to sell items, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and eBay are options, be sure to include pictures of the items. If donating specific items pack them up immediately and create a plan to have them picked up or dropped off at the donation site ASAP. Thinking of just giving some items away? Utilize the “free” section of Craigslist (it’s a good idea to post a picture of your item), place a small pile of items in your yard, driveway or at curbside (It’s a good way to test the adage “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”)