START DOWNSIZING EARLY AND WORK IN SMALL INCREMENTS OF TIME
Downsizing is physically, and emotionally, exhausting, especially for seniors. Start the process early and chip away slowly.
BE PATIENT AND HAVE COMPASSION
For anyone, downsizing is the closing of a chapter and oftentimes it is emotional. When helping a loved one, try to be empathetic and understanding of their transition.
DELEGATE THE HEAVY LIFTING, AND TRIPS UP AND DOWN THE STAIRS, TO YOUNGER HELPERS
Make sure seniors don’t waste their energy doing the runaround, which can be easily delegated to helpers. Their time should be saved for deciding what they want to keep.
DESIGNATE A SPACE WHERE SENIORS CAN SORT THROUGH THEIR THINGS
Create a space where seniors can decide what they want to keep on their own time, at their own pace, without pressure. Sometimes it is helpful to leave people with ‘homework’ to keep the sorting process moving.
FIND GRATEFUL RECIPIENTS FOR THEIR MEANINGFUL POSSESSIONS
Passing along things to loved ones, or to grateful recipients, makes the act of letting go much easier. Try to disperse belongings to friends, family, and charities with an imminent need.
1. Anything expired— food, medicine, toiletries, coupons
2. Extra buttons that came with new clothing, that you no longer own
3. Excess paper and plastic shopping/ grocery bags
4. Used plastic baggies and gift wrap
5. Worn out clothing and shoes
6. Outdated technology and miscellaneous, unidentified cords
7. Stained towels, or towels with holes
8. Extra paint that was used in the home you’re moving from
9. Catalogs earlier than this season
10. Expired and used batteries
11. Dried up pens
12. Misc hooks, nails, and hardware that can’t be identified
13. Wire dry cleaning hangers
14. Miscellaneous keys and locks that can’t be identified
Some reports indicate we consume
as many material goods today as we did
IS IT OKAY TO GIVE AWAY GIFTS WHEN DOWNSIZING?
Short answer, yes! To us, a gift is just a thing that is given to express a feeling. Whether you keep a gift or get rid of it, the feeling that was expressed was received when the gift was given. If you don’t like or need something, it’s certainly okay to get rid of it.
I HAVE BINS FULL OF MY KID’S MEMORABILIA, HOW DO I DETERMINE WHAT TO KEEP?
Once your kids are mature enough to decipher between special and insignificant things, allow them to decide what they want to keep. If they’re still young, keep everything in storage until they are old enough to make these decisions. If you aren’t able to store memorabilia longterm, use your best judgment to chose what to keep.
I’VE BEEN GIVEN FORMAL SILVER AND CRYSTAL FROM MY MOTHER THAT I WON’T USE, WHAT CAN I DO WITH IT?
If you won’t use these items for formal entertaining, try using these items in conventional, everyday ways. For example, use crystal glasses, and small serving vessels, as vases, or to containerize things like your toothbrush, or your makeup brushes. You could also integrate trays and larger serving pieces into your bookcases as interesting decor.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH LARGE COLLECTIONS, THAT MAY HAVE VALUE?
If you’re willing to part with your collection, set a price that you’d be happy selling it for, research what similar collections are selling for, and determine the best platform to sell it on. If you’re not ready to part with your collection, select your very favorite pieces, and sell the rest.
WHEN DOWNSIZING, WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH OVERSIZED MEMORABILIA?
If you’re not ready to part with something large, like a drum set, chose a portion of the whole, like a singular drum, and get rid of the rest. You could also snap a photo of the item.
I’M DOWNSIZING, WHERE CAN I SELL THE STUFF I WON’T BE MOVING?
Unfortunately, the market for used home items is small, and you’re unlikely to receive the price you’re expecting. With that being said, you could sell things individually on websites like Craigslist, Let It Go, Offer Up, Ebay, host your own sale, or hire a company to host an estate sale on your behalf. Each method offers different pros and cons.
“This is one of the best investments I've ever made. I can't recommend this enough. It will truly change your life.”
“Alex was truly a life saver during a very overwhelming and stressful time. Her upbeat, 'we can do it' personality shone through during the difficult times of packing up boxes, donating items and getting reorganized in a new space.”
“My Mom called me in tears of joy after working with Streamline Seattle. It was as if a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders. My brothers and I were in shock when we first saw her house - it was immaculate. She was so proud.' It has had such a positive impact on our entire family.”
“Amazing experience!! Alex and her team were fantastic.”
“Marcia is so sweet and enthusiastic. Vinita is also amazing, motivated and sweet. Loved them all. Even when my toddler was needing me or I was pulled away, they just kept on going. And kept on going with smiles- unsupervised and left to their own devices they far and away exceeded my expectations.”