Downsizing can be emotionally overwhelming. It can be especially hard for seniors moving to a retirement or assisted living community who may be leaving a home where they raised their family and accumulated a lifetime of memories. However, there are upsides to downsizing and it can be both liberating and rewarding if you follow these tips:


Love the people and not the stuff

The first positive is that consolidating things allows you to start focusing on what’s most important to us. It can create “mental space” and free you to appreciate experiences and people rather than inanimate objects that really are just that – objects. The real value of things is usually associated with the memories around them so write down what made those items special, take photos and make a scrapbook out of them so you can always have them with you.


A second home

The second upside is that you can find a new home for some of your things where they might bring even more happiness to someone else. For example, there are so many needy families that could really benefit from the things you don’t need anymore. If the items were especially meaningful to you, think about writing a short note about the item and including it with the donation. It might just make someone’s day to read about what the item meant to you and maybe they will also pay it forward someday.


Gift to friends and family

Invite a small group of family and friends over and make a party out of it. Ask for their help in deciding what stays and what goes, what brings them special memories and what they might like for themselves. Again, the object itself is not as important as making someone else’s day and that will bring a certain joy in parting with the item.


As the saying goes, we don’t ever really own anything. We borrow it for a time because it’s useful or beautiful or because it makes us feel comfortable. What really makes an object more than just a thing is the joy that we associate with it – and that is easy to take with you.


Donation centers listed below:


Broward Outreach Center

Salvation Army



Women in Distress