The kids have all moved out. As you approach retirement, you know downsizing is in your future. It’s time to start considering what that will entail.
Realistically, you won’t have room in your new home for everything that has accumulated over the past two or three decades. Don’t make the same mistakes many downsizers do by holding on to items that should be purged.
Before it’s time to move, take stock of what is in your home. Have you kept anything for your kids that they really don’t want? Have an open conversation with your children to determine whether what you consider a precious family heirloom would simply be clutter in your child’s home.
Put the following items at the top of the list to discuss. These are three of the most common things parents keep that their kids would prefer never to inherit.
Books: Even if your children love to read, it’s likely they don’t want your old books (and they probably have their own growing collection they will have to purge some day).
If you suspect any of your books are valuable, do a search online or contact a book antiquarian. Otherwise, consider donating the books to a library or used book store.
Fine dinnerware: Has your child ever used a cup and saucer for morning coffee? Would he or she use silver flatware? For that matter, have you used any of these dishes in the past year?
Children and grandchildren typically don’t want to store multiple place settings of porcelain dishes. Go ahead and sell them to the consignment shop or to a company that offers replacement pieces for consumers seeking specific patterns.
Paper piles: Do you have shoeboxes of greeting cards, letters, and photos stashed under your bed? Piles of paper are overwhelming and nearly impossible for others to sort through.
Before downsizing, go through these papers and say goodbye. Read through cards once more; then recycle them. Scan photos to create digital files, or frame your favourites to pass along. Then get rid of the rest.