Downsizing Your Belongings Before Downsizing Your Home

old china cupsIf you’ve lived in the same house for many years, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of stuff in your garage, basement, and/or other storage areas. Much of it has been packed away for so long that you don’t even know what you have, but because you’ve always had room for it, it’s never been an issue. But now that it’s time to move to a smaller house, a condo, or a retirement home, it’s time to make some decisions. You won’t have room for all that stuff in your new place, and even if you did, there wouldn’t be much point in moving it, just to store it away again.

There are a number of ways you can get rid of items you won’t be taking to your new home.

1. Offer them to family members.

Certain items will be more valuable than others, whether we’re talking about monetary value or sentimental value, and you may wish to keep them in the family. Ask your children or grandchildren if they would like to have them, but don’t be upset if they don’t accept everything. Something that is important to you may not have any significance to them, and they may have limited space.

2. Sell them.

If you have a large number of sellable items, you might consider holding a garage sale or auction. Individual items may be advertised for free on bulletin boards in local stores or on Kijiji, or sold at a second-hand store or consignment shop. A second-hand store will buy the items from you and then resell them at a higher price, whereas a consignment shop will display them in the store and give you a percentage of the price once a sale is completed.

3. Donate them to charity.

Different charities accept everything from mittens to tractors. Some distribute them to persons in need, while others sell them to raise funds for their programs. Here is a list of Canadian charitable organizations and the types of goods they accept.

4. Give them away.

Perhaps you would prefer to make sure your unneeded items go directly to a person or family in need, instead of donating them to an organization.  One way to do this is to join The Freecycle Network and offer your items to other members in your local area. Here is a list of active Freecycle groups in Ontario.

5. Dispose of them responsibly.

Most items should not be simply tossed in the garbage.

Any papers that show your name, address, or other personal information, should be shredded. If you don’t own a shredder, your documents may be taken to a UPS Store or other facility for secure shredding.

Be sure to recycle any paper and containers that are accepted in your community, and take household hazardous waste to a designated facility.

We would be happy to help you distribute or dispose of your unneeded belongings.

Give us a call at 905-971-9568 or email us to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

Photo © Cheryl Empey – stock.xchng

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