Give yourself plenty of time for this process, because it will inevitably take longer than you expect. Take it one room at a time, and take breaks throughout. But give yourself a limited timeframe to get it all done.
You probably already have things you want to get rid of in the kitchen or garage, but avoid diving into such a big room at the very beginning. You have years and years of things to sort through. Not only has this home housed you for better or worse, it may have been the home that you raised your family in. Start in an area with little emotional attachment. The laundry room or linen closet are good options.
Understand your needs. If you’re moving into our two-bedroom apartment, four sets of sheets should be plenty. The rest can go.
At Mirador, you won’t need that gym equipment and boxes of pool supplies that take up space in your home or garage. Pick out the stuff you don’t want (or need) and pack the rest.
Or consider try the opposite — pack the keepers. It’s easier to select what you know for sure you will keep, and consider donating whatever is left over.
You’ll find this is especially true in your kitchen. You have two or three spatulas and ladles, plus four different sized cookie sheets, but how often do you realistically cook a feast? Plus, at MRC Mirador our chef does most of the cooking for you! Don’t keep something that you only use once a year, like those cookie sheets during Christmas.
Take a hard look at every item you pick up. If you use it regularly, keep it. But it’s time to let something go if it’s been sitting in a closet or on a shelf for a year or more. Holiday décor might receive a free pass on this one (within reason), but if you only wear certain slacks twice a year at most, it’s time for them to go.
Is there an antique clock in your foyer that your children have their eye on, but you still have nostalgia attached to it? Or maybe a granddaughter who would love to make your wedding china her own? If there are certain heirlooms you plan to pass on to loved ones in your will, consider giving those gifts now. You get the gift of giving, plus the added bonus of downsizing. But don't keep things assuming they will be sentimental to others.
It might be time for your children to keep their own high school memorabilia so you can keep a bit more storage space. Consider that your guests may prefer to use the guest suite at MRC Mirador; leaving guest towels, sheets and bedding in the donate category.
To keep your “junk level” from rising, incorporate this rule into your shopping habits: every time a new item comes into your home, a similar item must leave. The secret to a smart move is to plan ahead and make sure you’re not backtracking on the progress you make in the meantime.
Moving can be stressful, especially if you’re making a significant change, such as downsizing for a LifeCare community. Hopefully these tips help make the process less daunting, and if you need some help along the way, our team is happy to walk with you as you navigate a move to Mirador!