Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How do I decide what to leave/give away or store when I move?

We just moved my mother-in-law who is 88 from her three bedroom town home to a one bedroom independent living complex. First, the idea of the move was a difficult one that took many months for her to decide she needed to move. Once she made the decision to move, then we needed to sort out what she wanted to take, what she wanted to keep and what she wanted to give away or sell. The process of making those decisions were difficult and very time consuming.

Lucky for us her place took a while to sell, so we were not rushed but the stress was hard on my wife and her mother. Downsizing is not easy but it is a situation that many of us will have to face. Here are some of the ideas that we used to help my mother-in-law move toward making tough decisions. 

One of the first things we asked is would it be necessary in her new situation. In her new place, she had two meals a day provided, so she did not need much in the way of kitchen products, so we sold/gave away or tossed most of her kitchen.

We then looked at if something could be used by her in her new home. If something was useful, but would not fit, we made the decision to sell or to give it away. 

We also looked at the sentimental value of each item to her. While there were certainly items that have sentimental value these were put into storage but if they had no value, we sold them or gave them away. Some people only need one item to represent many of these memories or people, my mother in law was not one of those people.

Finally we looked at collectables. My mother-in-law, collected stuffed toys and books, these were problematic, so in the end we stored them and will probably sell or give them away very soon. It can be difficult to decide what to get rid of. However, when you are forced to make choices, you have the chance to reduce your own consumerism and save more money in the future.

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