help seniors declutter

Declutter: Sell My Stuff – Assist Seniors in Downsizing a Lifetime of Belongings

Jennifer Kem End of Life Issues, Estate Planning, Life Transitions, quality placement for senior, Senior Housing Options

Declutter – Letting Go of a Lifetime’s Worth of Stuff Can Be a Challenge

Over the course of our lives, our space and living needs change. This is where we get to declutter!  But if you have ever tried to clean out your attic or basement, you know that there can be a lot of challenges to downsizing. What is a treasured heirloom and what is junk? Can you be really sure that you’ll never need this or that item again? Here are some tips for helping a senior to declutter

Here is a SIMPLE version of our Downsizing Checklist Page

There are many great reasons to declutter—a large house may feel empty and lonely. Moving to a smaller living arrangement can save you a great deal of money. As we get older, children move away, spouses pass on. We may find that we have much more space than we need or can reasonably afford. Downsizing can help you have less home/possession to keep track of/maintain but first we declutter! Click here for MORE on decluttering

1. You Can Digitize It!

First, one simple space-saving method is storage for media can be digitized. If your senior’s home has rows and rows of books or piles of videotapes, photographs, audiocassettes or record albums, they should know about services to digitize and store photos, favorite music and documents. Almost all papers and photos can be duplicated by the types of storage services listed in this article.

Next, if someone is a true collector, they may not want to part with a treasures. For example, prized Elvis greatest hits compellation vinyl record collection, spoons of the continents, 32 matching bone tea cups and saucers, milk glass gravy boats from across the globe. But if it’s just about having access to the music, books, movies, etc., our seniors need to know they can have ALL that without clutter.

Finally, your loved one may also make a tidy profit by selling some of that stuff to ACTUAL collectors.

2. Bring in the Family for a gifting party

Second, as long as your senior is moving from one place to another, they have a great opportunity to pass a few things down to the family while they’re still around to enjoy the giving. Bring children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or whomever to come in and do a little scavenging and enjoy a little gifting. It’s a great way to offload a lot of stuff they may not have room for in the new place while still keeping those treasures securely in the family. Your senior loved one can even visit their old stuff when they come to visit you!

3. Three Piles – Keep, Toss, Donate/Sell

Next, pick a room in the home and take a fearless inventory of what is in it. Then, put everything into three simple piles. 

  • Keeping.
  • Things you are throwing out.
  • Donating or selling. — Items to consider that you want to throw out, sell, or donate fall under the following criteria:  Items that are duplicates of other brick-a-brack or useful items in the home. Donate things which are broken or that are in process of fixing. Some donation stations employ folks who spend all day fixing things which gives them solid employment. Household or personal items that your loved ones hasn’t used in several years. This includes the 10 boxes of Raisin Bran, expired vitamins, extra pot holder from Auntie June.

Keep in mind, it helps to have a donate staging area in the garage for easy donation pick-up. When you are finished in one room then move on to the next room.  Make a game out of it taking frequent breaks to recall special details about an item and take your time.

4. Visualize the New Home

Lastly, help your senior visualize their new home. Talk about the future life in the new home and the type of furniture they will need when they are in it. Will your loved one really need three televisions? Will they need a King-size bed? Measure any furniture or other items that are unlikely to fit in the new living arrangement can be eliminated or switched out for a smaller version. Invite loved ones and friends over to take special items that they would like to have as a keepsake from you. So, adding family into your transition requires you to do some restructuring. But, it will be well worth your time!

Ready to go? We’ve compiled a checklist for seniors downsizing to help you sort through your important papers, update documents and coordinate the move.  The difficulty of extensive preparation is done for you. Just visit our Golden Girl checklist for Moving Preparation and declutter your home and get looking forward to that new adventure! 

Click here to visit our Golden Girl checklist for Moving Preparation.


Are you Done With Downsizing and Ready to Relocate?

In conclusion, if your senior loved one has the project of downsizing completed and is all ready for a big move then, great work! We are capable professionals ready to find the right new location for your loved one in the Portland Metro or Northern California area.
Golden Placement Services can help find a home for mom. Contact us today.

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Housing Resources from Golden Placements:

Does Oregon have senior housing? Here are more resources to help you learn more about How to Cope with Moving Transitions:


Diane Delaney, Placement Specialist Extraordinaire

Diane Delaney, Golden Placement Services
Diane Delaney

Delaney is the founder of Golden Placement Services. She began this business with a healthy dose of compassion for  helping families make educated decisions regarding senior placement. Focused to relieve stress in uncertain senior housing crucial moments.  Diane brings about loving change of lifestyle with grace. Additionally, Diane is an accomplished executive manager, Director of Operations in senior housing. Emphatically, she enjoys sharing her experience by writing about the full spectrum of the transition process for seniors and family members.

Read more from Senior Placement Specialist Diane: Ultimate Senior Living Resource Guide >>

LaVona Tombrelin, Senior Placement Specialist

LaVona Tomberlin
LaVona Tomberlin

Tombrelin brings a high level of education and experience to you as your Senior Placement Specialist at GPS. She loves writing about improving the lives of Elderly working in private care and in-home care for over 36 years. Geriatrics, Memory Care. Plus, she holds Master of Psychology Behavioral Health with the goal of advocating for those who needed a voice. Basically, LaVona believes helping the families to make good decisions and to relieve their stress in uncertain times makes life worthwhile!

Learn More: Read articles from Placement Specialist LaVona: End of Life Transition a heart felt Guide >>