Karen Shinn knows a thing or two about moving. Through her company, Downsizing Diva, Shinn has helped countless seniors downsize or declutter their homes, while at the same time coming up with inventive ways to preserve memories. Much more than deciding what to keep, what to pass on to family or friends, and what to sell or give away, downsizing is a process that shouldn’t be rushed.
It’s better to give it now, so you get to see the joy on their face
We asked Shinn for her Top 3 downsizing tips for seniors making a move.
1. Measure the new space
“The size and shape of your new residence will help determine what will fit, and what can’t,” says Shinn. By measuring the space, you can also begin to get a sense of flow and overall layout.
2. Tell your story
Items with sentimental value are the toughest to part with, but you can’t hold onto everything in your new home. Find the person who the item will mean most to, and tell them the story of how you came to own it. Then give it to them. “It’s better to give it now, so you get to see the joy on their face,” says Shinn.
3. Hire some help
Sometimes family members are too close to be able to help you decide what to keep and what to pass on. Companies such as Downsizing Diva and Red Coats Moving Solutions can help with the process and shift the focus onto the new home, rather than the one you’re leaving. “It helps to have someone objective who can help you decide what to keep,” says Shinn.