Tribune Print Share Text

Beating the downsizing doldrums

Created date

April 22nd, 2014

Changing residences usually creates stress, and when a move also involves downsizing, the planning, packing, and letting go of emotional ties to a longtime home can be exhausting. One resident who recently moved to Tallgrass Creek, Erickson Living’s community in Overland Park, Kans., said she viewed the process as “a much-needed spring cleaning.”  

Whether it’s downsizing from a sizable suburban house or conducting a thorough spring cleaning, here are a few tips to help make the experience less demanding and more productive.

Keep a list 

Before starting the process, make a list with these three headings: “Keep,” “Give to family/friends,” and “Discard” (donate, sell, or throw away). Assign a different-colored, sticky dot to each heading, and as you go through your belongings, apply the appropriate colored dot to each item. 

Divide the process into manageable tasks

Go through one room at a time starting in rooms that have the least emotional “tug,” such as the bathroom (don’t forget to toss those out-of-date prescriptions), attic, or garage. Within that room, select a bureau, closet, cupboard, or shelf and go through every item until you gradually work your way through the entire room. 

Create a realistic timeframe

You don’t have to have a designated moving date to start the downsizing process. Work slowly but surely and the task will be done in good time. 

Organize a family get-together

This is a great way to share memories with your loved ones as you distribute items or furniture among family members. 

Use Erickson Living resources

Most of us don’t know where to start when moving. At each Erickson Living community, Tallgrass Creek resident recently noted, “It’s not necessarily about downsizing but rather right-sizing.”