Stress and grief can result from “giving up the family home,” a loss of independence or even a perceived loss of prestige.

Downsizing from your home to an assisted living facility has its advantages, socialization, meals prepared, no maintenance, and no snow removal. However, stress and grief can result from “giving up the family home,” a loss of independence or even a perceived loss of prestige. Consequently, tough decisions have to made on downsizing. Removing clutter is easy. But letting go of sentimental possessions, the task is daunting. Therefore, plan and  review how much living space and storage space your apartment has.

Here are some suggestions to help you or a loved one begin the process:

• Measure the furniture, especially large items like the bed, dresser and sofa, to determine how much will fit in the new rooms.

• Determine which items you are absolutely unwilling to give up, such as photo albums and grandfather’s clock.

• Organize before you move with the help of inexpensive storage systems available at most stores.

• Give away any clothes you haven’t worn in the past two years.

• Dispose of dated paperwork and files

• Keep only appliances that you use regularly.

• Ask family members and friends for help. They might even appreciate some of the items you need to give away.

• If you have antiques, collectibles or other items of value, consider hiring an appraiser.

• Yard sales can eliminate unneeded items and generate money, but they take time to organize and conduct. Giving items to charity is easier and might be more satisfying.

• Be kind to yourself or the person who needs to downsize. Moving is an emotionally draining experience, so when the job is done, find a way to celebrate and christen the new place “home.”

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