Four Tips For Downsizing and Decluttering

July 27, 2020

With the local real estate market in a very strong position for sellers, with low inventory and motivated buyers, now is the time to get your house in order to sell.

But, decluttering and downsizing can be a challenging process. If you've lived in your house for many years, you've probably accumulated a lot of stuff you no longer need in your closets, basement, and attic. Sorting through and parting with personal items is often difficult because of our emotional association with them.

Kristen Yaquinto, personal moving consultant at Fox Run, an Erickson Living-managed community in Novi, recommends starting small.

"Don't try to tackle all of your decluttering projects in one day or weekend," she says. "Start by purging a closet, clearing out the Tupperware drawer, emptying the medicine cabinet. If you start a small project and see it through to the end, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and gain momentum to move on to larger projects."

The coronavirus pandemic, in recent months, has meant we all spend a lot more time at home. But that doesn't mean you have to put your plans to downsize and move to a retirement community on hold. In fact, Yaquinto says this period of sheltering-in-place created a unique opportunity to really focus on decluttering.

"I always encourage downsizing and decluttering earlier than later," Yaquinto says. "Oftentimes, when we put these tasks and projects off until a later date, most of the time we never tackle them. We all have more time at home right now, and this is the perfect opportunity to get things done."

If you're feeling motivated to use your extra time at home to start decluttering, Yaquinto says you should ask yourself the following questions when trying to decide whether to keep items: Do I use it? Do I need it? Do I have room for it? Is it broken? Has it expired? Can someone else use it more?

Four tips

Yaquinto also shares these quick tips to get you started on successful decluttering:

1. Gather all the necessary tools. You'll need boxes for your donations, books, and breakables. You'll also want paper to wrap breakables, whether you're keeping them or donating elsewhere. Make sure you have labels and markers on hand. You'll want to identify what is in every box, including the boxes you're donating. And don't forget the packing tape for sealing boxes.

2. Set up sort locations to define where your items will go: family, for sale, donation, trash, and unsure.

3. Begin decluttering in a room you don't use often.

4. Choose a less emotional area first.

For those interested in making the move to Fox Run, Yaquinto continues to provide services like downsizing guidance and floor planning assistance in person, over the phone and via virtual appointments.

"My goal is to provide each customer with the services they need in the manner that they feel most comfortable with," she says.

Consider Fox Run if you're interested in living in a connected and engaged senior independent living community. Beautiful walking paths, gardens, resort-style amenities, an on-site medical center staffed by full-time medical professionals, and new friends await. Request more information today.