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  • Writer's pictureDesigning Moves

Downsizing Dilemmas

Common Pitfalls when Downsizing your Home

  • Waiting too long to deal with your stuff

  • Saving the wrong stuff – toss broken things

  • Not telling family the stories/meaning of certain items

  • Saving it because your parents saved it

  • Boxing up items for tag sale, auctioneer or buyers to look at

  • Storing things too long


  • Expenses are rising to clean out a home – hazardous waste, mold, mouse or insect infested items must be thrown away. It costs more and more to get trash picked up.

  • Family will deal with it by throwing it in a dumpster and not looking to see if there is anything of value.

  • Missing getting some money for items while you can sell them.

  • Spending more money storing things than they are worth.

  • Owning nice things that you’ve saved for “good” and have little value now.

Items to consider saving if you are moving

  • Arm chair

  • Ottoman that can double as a coffee table

  • Easy to use storage items – plastic cart with drawers, shelf dividers, under-bed storage, clear plastic bins.

  • Take part of your dish set (4-6 place settings max) and part of your flatware.

  • Smaller pots and pans.

What to let go of as soon as possible

  • Clothes you don’t wear – we wear 20 % of what is in our closet, people move too many clothes!

  • Paper – organize your important papers, shred personal papers you don’t need, clean out old receipts, taxes, cancelled checks.

  • Photos – divide up with family, digitize them, and get rid of ones that you don’t want – save a couple vacation pictures (no one wants old vacation pictures). Historical photos may have some value but sort them out.

  • Damaged Items – broken or moldy items, things that need mending or that you can’t get fixed, parts to items you used to own.

  • Hazardous waste – make regular visits to the landfill with these items, get them out of the house.

  • Recycling – keep up with recycling, don’t let it pile up – magazines, plastic, pie tins, etc.

Copyright 2018 by Christine E. Smart


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