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Downsizing and Moving for Seniors
Nearly 40 million Americans are over the age of 65; thousands more turn 65 each and every
day. It is no small wonder that today's seniors are on the move!
Seniors who for decades have lived in larger-sized homes are now migrating to independent
living communities, 55+ communities, retirement centers, assisted living facilities, etc. This
lifestyle
downsizing process calls for the reduction of decades of accumulated furniture and
belongings in order to fit in new and smaller living spaces. Many people entering their 60's are
opting for single-single story lifestyles with fewer bedrooms and less (if any) garage space.
The volume of their belongings must be reduced in order to fit!
Moving Experiences for Seniors
Many seniors are downsizing
their living space to live more
comfortably and conveniently in
a senior-friendly environment!
Leaving a beloved home in familiar surroundings can be
stressful enough; eliminating a large number of household items
and belongings simply adds to the potential stress and
compounds the difficulty of the task for many seniors. A
successful move facilitating a lifestyle transition should be done
as easily, efficiently
and profitably as possible!
Of course, the most organized people could find themselves
overwhelmed by the prospect of whittling down furniture,
household goods and precious keepsakes with both real and
sentimental value.
Here is how to go about it:
Divide and Conquer

Like all complex jobs, one of the best ways to tackle a home downsizing-relocation project is to
divide up the process into smaller, more easily-accomplished pieces. The book
"Organizing for
Dummies"
can be a great guide for much of this process. The chapter "Cleaning House
Room-by-Room From Basement to Attic (including the garage)"
could be of particular help to
many who would otherwise be overwhelmed by the task at hand.
Organizing for Dummies is a book that can be of great help and guidance to seniors trying to downsize their lifestyle.
"Organizing for
Dummies" is a
book that can be
of great help to a
downsizing
project!
Gather the Family

First of all, hold a family gathering; the more it is
like a party, the less it will seem like work! Talk
over the upcoming move, discuss all of the
household belongings and make decisions
about who wants what items. If at all possible,
arrange for any of the delegated items to be
taken by their lucky recipients right away!
If possible, write down everything known about
the items being given away - where the item
was from, which family member originally
obtained it, the history of the item, how it fits
into the family history, etc. Give the gift of family
historical perspective as well as the item itself!
This kind of accumulated
clutter can make a downsizing
project seem nearly impossible!
Clean Sweep

"There is no such thing as absolute value in this world;
you can only estimate what a thing is worth to you."
                                          Charles Dudley Warner

Once all the pre-inheritance treasures have been given out
to friends and family, divide up the house into sections.
Hopefully the family-gathering event will have cleared out a
fair number of items, perhaps freeing-up an entire room, like
a little-used second or third bedroom. This room can be used
to store the items that are absolutely going to the new home!
(Family photos and documents, prized furniture and other
other cherished belongings, etc.)
Gathering family and friends to give
away treasured keepsakes and
heirlooms can be a fun, rewarding
bonding event!
If an impending move is into a smaller living space, chances are there will be many more items
which are desirable to keep than makes practical sense to fit into the new living space. Parting
with some coveted belongings can be an emotional time - very reminiscent of The Learning
Channel's reality-TV program,
"Clean Sweep". In "Clean Sweep" (now in rerun syndication)
organizational experts helped families reduce their household clutter and get better organized
for a more enjoyable, efficient and comfortable lifestyle. The process included earmarking items
for yard sales. The rules allowed a couple to keep one prized item each before all other
expendable items were put out for sale. This decision-making process was often very
emotional; although these couples on
"Clean Sweep" were typically much younger than
"retirement-ready" couples, strong bonds had been formed to various personal objects
nonetheless. Just like on the television program, the keys to making a phase-down process
successful are cool heads and warm senses of humor.
One thing which may help in this process is to take photographs of items which have special
significance but are nonetheless ultimately designated to go. Write down all that is known about
each special item and place this information in an album with the photos; documented
back-stories may be a comfort going forward into a new, exciting lifestyle change!
Appraisal Process

"A fair price is the highest one a collector can be convinced to pay!"
                                                                                     Robert Hughes

At this point you've given away or set-aside all the things going to friends and relatives. You've
also earmarked all the furniture, belongings, clothing and keepsakes you're taking with you to
your new home.
Before you contact an estate agent, hold a garage sale, donate or throw away a single thing,
make an honest, thorough effort to determine the legitimate value of the remaining items!
If you have a showroom-condition 1930 Deusenberg Legrande Torpedo touring care in your
garage, chances are you're aware of its true market value; at the very least, you would have it
professionally appraised and sell it privately or through a collectibles dealer. The actual values
of some possessions may not be that easy to recognize!
Particularly if you're depending on the proceeds of your downsizing liquidation for expenses,
bill-paying, moving fees, etc., you want to be absolutely certain to get the most for what you
have to sell. The value of what you have may surprise you!
If you have any items you even mildly suspect may be valuable, do some
checking online and see if your hunch is correct. If any of the items can
be found on eBay, check out the "Closed Auction" records which can be
accessed through eBay's "Advanced Search" function. By reviewing the
"Closed Auction" records you can see what items similar to your own sold
for most recently.
A good book to buy or check out from the library in order to prepare for
this investigative process is
"eBay for Dummies". The book provides you
with many quick and easy methods to double-check the current values of
a vast range of items in 100's of categories. (Furniture, books,
collectibles, coins, antiques, etc.)
eBay for Dummies is a great resource book to help seniors determine the real value of many treasured keepsakes and collectibles!
"eBay for Dummies"  
can be a great source
of reference for
determining the value
of various household
treasures!
eBay is a registered trademark of eBay, Inc.; For Dummies is a registered trademark of Wiley Publishing, Inc.; The Clean Sweep
television program is owned and produced by Evolution Media;
The Learning Channel name and logo are registered trademarks of
Discovery Communications, LLC; all other trademarks and brands are the registered property of their owners.