Arguably, one of the best things about moving or downsizing for seniors is the opportunity to declutter your home. The trouble is, how do you part with it all? When you’re tired of the hassle of trying to sell your old stuff, giving things away is your next best option. Here are a few ideas on how to get rid of:
If you have adult children and still have some of their things, it’s time to let them store it. Ideally, they’ll be able to take their old things off your hands themselves, long before moving day. In the event that your kids can’t pick their stuff up right away, DO NOT simply toss their old belongings in the trash without consulting them!
If your kids will be around to help you pack or move out, have them look through their old belongings and decide for themselves what to take and what to get rid of. If they won’t be there in time to look through their things themselves, you can ask if there’s anything they know for sure they want to hold onto, and for permission to donate what you think they wouldn’t mind parting with. Whatever they say, try to honor their wishes. Their trust is more important than freeing up space on the moving truck.
Furniture is much more affordable than it used to be, so it can be one of the more difficult sorts of items to find a new home for. If you don’t have any luck selling the extra furniture, and none of your family or friends want it, your next best bet would be to donate it. Nonprofits like Goodwill and the Salvation Army can be quite picky when it comes to what furniture they’ll accept, so be sure to call before hauling your donation to them. Some will even pick up your donation from your house, saving you the hassle. If that falls through, you could try getting in touch with local organizations, like homeless or women’s shelters, to ask if they have any need for the sort of furniture you’re parting with. A local theatre group or high school might be interested in a new prop. It never hurts to ask.
Clothing is much easier to rehome, once you’ve sorted the clothes you’re keeping out from what you’re ready to give up. Offer to friends and family a chance to look over the clothes you’ve set aside, to see if there’s anything they’d like to take home. Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch or your local Salvation Army will probably be more than happy to take a donation of gently used clothing. If you have women’s dress clothes, consider taking your clothes to Dress for Success.
Emptying out the kitchen is troublesome to deal with during a move. You still have to eat throughout the moving process, afterall! It’s best to begin emptying the cupboards at least two or three weeks before you leave the house for good. As you’re working to use up what you can, set aside unopened, non-perishable food items to donate to a local food pantry or shelter. Offer to let your friends and family members raid your fridge when they come over to help out. Bake a few treats before they arrive to help make packing a little more fun, and use up flour and chocolate supplies at the same time. Try to avoid going to the grocery store during those final weeks, if possible. If it all goes well, you won’t have to throw away more than a handful of items & expired parseable.
One of the simplest ways to rehome your belongings is to allow the friends and family helping out to take some home. Letting them know that they have dibs on the things you’re planning to donate or sell anyway is a great way to show your appreciation for their hard work.
Hopefully, you now have a few ideas of how to start giving in preparation for your next move. Maybe you even thought up a few of your own, and that’s great! There are always opportunities all around to give back to your community and loved ones. Be creative, and enjoy those warm, fuzzy feelings.
Assistance is just a click or call away. A senior move manager can help. The National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) is the leading membership organization for Senior Move Managers. It is the first place you should look to to find a certified member in your area to make sure you are taken care of. At Change Is Good, we meet and exceed all standards by NASMM and are accredited members to ensure a refreshing experience.
Authored by Leah Anderson