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Spring 2019

Downsize and Declutter

Lillian, 54, currently resides in San Jose and is caring for her mother who lives with dementia.

“My mother had thirty-year-old possessions, before moving in. She rarely downsized, and as her health declined she became unsettled at the thought of clearing out her unused belongings,” Lillian stated.

According to The Journals of Gerontology (2014), “Among people over age 70, about 30 percent of people reported they had done nothing over the past year to give away any belongings. And 80 percent in the same age group said they had sold nothing in the past 12 months.”

Downsizing and decluttering can happen at any point throughout the year; however, every person’s unique situation is different. Situations such as moving to a new place or first signs of declining health may spur the need to declutter and downsize.

Downsizing is possible when approached with an alternative solution to organization. An efficient guide to downsizing is using the “Four Pile Sorting Method’’.

To successfully use this method, a cleared space within the home could serve as a designated area for all sorted items.

Start Sorting and Get Organized:

Keep

Furniture, mementos, and other personal belongings when there is a committed receiver.

Sell

Speak with an appraiser or have a yard sell of valuable possessions, such as collectables or overstock; gently used furniture.

Donate

Unwanted items that can be reused such as kitchen appliances, clothes, electronics.

Garbage

Dispose properly of hazardous and beyond repair items.

Local donation and recycling centers are available to assist with downsizing. Contact a Community Resource Specialist of Sourcewise: (408) 350-3200, option 1.