Downsizing is a life process. Everyone goes through their stages in life. From childhood, to young adolescents, to young adult, to middle age and more, people go through their various stages and reduce their possessions to fit their current situation. The same applies when people simplify their lives and downsize after retirement. There are stages to downsizing, and here are some tips.
What are some things to keep in mind when downsizing post-retirement?
Downsizing is a constant process. Downsizing is not a one-and-done deal. As one ages and moves, one will eliminate items over time. Additionally, a person may have to sort their entire home several times.
Are there some tips for downsizing?
Downsizing is not fun. It can be emotional, especially since a person spends their life gathering everything to represent their accomplishments. Re-homing or discarding possessions can bring sadness. Therefore, do not schedule a whole day to work on downsizing. If you work alone, work on one section of your home for one to two hours. Afterward, put everything away – trash, recycling, and items you are keeping- ensuring all the similar things are together. In addition, make a spot for all the donation or consignment items. When it comes to donations, set time aside to donate the items. If you want to consign stuff, take pictures, then make an appointment to email the images to various consignment stores. Lastly, do not re-sort your giveaways. Anyone can talk themselves into keeping something.
Do you have any downsizing tips about paperwork?
Paperwork is tedious. Spend 30 minutes to an hour sorting paperwork. Afterward, file the documents you want to keep, then recycle or shred any unwanted documents. However, if you do not want to shred, use a pen or Sharpie to block out sensitive information, such as account numbers, social security numbers, or birthdates. Here are a few other downsizing tips to keep in mind:
You only need a maximum of seven years for tax documents.
Only keep current insurance policies, so discard expired or not active policies.
Most financial statements (bank, credit card, investments, retirement, or pensions) are online, so if you want to keep a paper copy, just keep year-end statements.
You don’t need to keep medical records since they are online. If you want paper copies of medical documents, you only need the current basics – diagnosis, treatment, results, and medications.
Do not keep over a year’s worth of everyday bills or receipts such as utilities or grocery bills. If you want to budget, one year of receipts should be enough to reach that goal. Of course, you can always revert to any bank or credit card statement and not keep receipts.
Keep receipts and bills related to
Lawsuits, but once settled, only keep settlement documents
Important documents to keep
Social Security Card
Military discharge paperwork
Final legal documents such as adoption papers or divorce decree
Loan documents that are current
Title documents, for example currently owned car or property
If you have any sentimental items, put all sentimental stuff together in a box. If the sentimental item is large such as a piece of furniture that you do not use, take a picture of the item, store the picture in the sentimental box and re-house the item.
Downsizing can become overwhelming, so feel free to ask for help from someone or hire a professional organizer.
STAGES is here to guide people through the downsizing process.