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Moving? What do I do with all this stuff?

Moving is stressful at any age, but when you're a senior it can be paralyzing. The decision to move is the first step. What comes next? The most overwhelming part of the move process is deciding what to do with the 'things' you've accumulated over your lifetime. How can you whittle down your possessions?

Begin by identifying items you know you want to take with you to your new space. Consider how frequently you use an item, the emotional value it holds and the space you will have. For the items you know you can live without, determine what can be sold, what can be donated and what to discard.

Talk to loved ones early and often in the process. Speak openly with family members about what items they would like to someday have. In addition to identifying who is interested in what, take this opportunity to share the stories behind items before the history is lost. Down sizing now will prevent someone from the stress of being left to divide an overwhelming number of belongings during a time of grieving.

When you are ready to move, keep your loved ones aware of your timetable. Let your family know that they have until a set date to get the things you have agreed for each of them to take. Make arrangements for what you want to take with you to be packed and moved and for your remaining belongings to be sold, donated to charities, or discarded.

Even if you aren't ready to move now, you can still begin preparing by going through your things at least once every five years. Think about what items you really need. If an item sits unused in your home, think about who might appreciate it and/or use it. Consider donating your unused items to a charity or holding a garage sale. Concentrate on freeing yourself from clutter and keeping only what is most important to you. The best approach to simplifying your move is to plan ahead. Making decisions now frees you and your children from dealing with your belongings in the future when you may be less independent.

This article was written by Anita Busby with Kid Gloves, Specialty Relocation Services

View the author's bio by clicking on the name.  You may also comment on the article by clicking Add Comment below.

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Nick Hardy
MorningStar Senior Living
3509 Lochwood Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525

Housing : Assisted Living

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