1. Think about your new space
Getting your mind around moving to a smaller space is your first order of business. Wrapping your head around new surroundings, less storage, smaller and fewer items of furniture are all part of the acceptance of this new life phase. Instead of dreading it, think about the upsides – no stairs, less to clean, more freedom, and being in charge of your own destiny! This could be the greatest adventure of your life.
2. Gift things away
All those treasures you have been saving will not fit in your new home. Take stock of what they mean to you and who might appreciate them. You will bring joy to yourself and others. Whether it is artwork, jewelry, furniture, keepsakes – whatever! If someone you care about has admired it in the past, consider giving it to them. This will be a blessing to them and even more of one to you!
This is a task to be undertaken slowly for many. Not everything you have will find a home with you or with someone you know. If you have enjoyed the item, and know it will not go with you, say “good-bye” and let someone else enjoy it. If you have an overabundance of stuff, it may make sense to hire a professional to help.
4. Pare down clothing
The best way I have found to do this is to start a season or two ahead. Turn all your hangers in the closet backwards – yes backwards! At the end of the season, any hangers that are still backwards are telling you that you have not worn that garment. You may still find it hard to part with a particular blouse or pair of pants. That’s OK! If you have the time, give it one more season. However, if after two season the hanger is still backwards..guess what? It needs to go.
5. Get your docs in order
Like many, you may have saved the last 25 years of tax returns and receipts in case the IRS inquired. You only need 7 years, but that’s not all. Do you have your POA’s for health and finance? When was the last time they were updated? Is there a will or trust? Updating and securing all these important documents in one place is imperative. Now is the time to make sure your affairs are in order, before they need be.