For retirees who are thinking it’s time to move into an assisted living community, one of the biggest barriers is paring down your “stuff” to a manageable amount. Deciding what to hold on to and what to let go of can be intimidating. What about all your children’s artwork from school? How about all those plastic containers you saved because, well, why did you save those?
Seriously, we want to hang onto some things purely for sentimental reasons. Do it, but let go of all except what you really cherish. My mother is doing this as we speak. Last time I saw her, she gave me a box with several things I made for her in first through fourth grades, including a ceramic ashtray fashioned into the shape of a turkey, kind of. Since she no longer smokes there is no practical value. More importantly, she enjoyed it and the idea that I made it for her over 50 years ago, but now she can live with the memory of it.
How Do You Know What to Keep?
How do you get rid of the mountain of things you have accumulated over a lifetime? Fortunately, there are lots of books, articles, websites and videos that can guide you through the process of decluttering. Family Circle has a wonderful article called “18 Things You Can Get Rid of Today” (http://www.familycircle.com/family-fun/organization/clutter/18-things-you-can-get-rid-of-right-now/). It’s funny, informative and definitely a place to start.
YouTube is another great resource. I came across a comprehensive video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLaa_Gw-Wwk) on decluttering that includes some psychological advice as well as practical tips for organizing and then purging unnecessary items from your life. And finally, don’t forget about my mother’s sneaky way of getting rid of things without throwing them out.
Give them to your kids!
SGD is the Bay Area advertising, marketing and branding agency specializing in seniors and boomers. We’ve repositioned, rebranded and relaunched senior living communities in California, Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia attaining an occupancy rate of 90% or more in very competitive markets, despite recessionary times. We know seniors, and what makes them thrive.
About the Author: Duff Reiter is an Account Director / Planner at SGD Advertising specializing in senior / boomer, healthcare, lifestyle, financial, travel / leisure and technology brands since 1984.