Family 411: The steps of 'right-sizing'


We all tend to do a little spring cleaning to clear out clutter.

It's different and often times overwhelming for seniors when moving decades of belongings from their house to a retirement apartment.

Tara Morgan walks us through the steps of 'right-sizing' in this week's family 411.

Reminders of life's journey. Some are harder than others to let go.

"I would imagine this little angel probably meant something to somebody."

Some you can't part with at all.

"This nativity scene is a family treasure."

Tina Butler siften through decades of treasures when she and her husband decided to move from their three floor condo to a smaller retirement apartment.

"We had a lot of stuff in our basement and in closets."

The transition can be overwhelming.

"Maybe they're empty nesters they have too much of a home for themselves or maybe they've lost their spouse."

Sherri Wamsley guides seniors through the process of moving to a smaller space.

"Rightsizing is kind of downsizing with the right amount of things."

Part of that is picking out what means to you the most and either donate or toss the rest.

"Doing it little by little, a room at a time, putting out maybe three bins; a keep, a giveaway and pitch."

"Some things move from pile to pile and back again we made daily trips to goodwill."

Half her china made the 'keep' pile too. Advice from a friend served her well.

"I have eight sets he says just pick your favorite four and get rid of the rest of them you'll be just fine."

After all, storage is limited where Tina lives now.

"Each resident is assigned a locker."

She separated the memories from the material items.

Her locker holds things used only a few times a year.

"We keep boxes here with holiday items our Christmans tree in a bag."

Tina's advice is to approach a move with optimism toward a new beginning.

"I call it the grace of readiness once you are ready then you get the courage, the grace from somewhere to do what you have to do."

Two years later, Tina is comfortable in her apartment and with the decisions she made.

"And you know I do not think about what we let go."

Before closing that chapter in her life's journey.Mh

Wamsley suggests people set timelines for their move and thinning out belongings.

Also to refer to floor plans and room templates as a helpful guide for size and space of your new place.

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