My family is in the process of moving. As I'm packing up boxes, I'm trying to imagine how much stuff we will have years from now when we have a lifetime's worth of kids' stuff, keepsakes, furniture, etc.
Older adults actually move more than other age groups, so it is ironic that the generations that have the most stuff have to move it more times than everyone else.
Interestingly, there's a new word to describe what we used to call “downsizing,” or the process of moving to a smaller, more fitting dwelling – it is called “rightsizing.”
Maybe because more people recognize that retiring baby boomers and older adults are having to do this more often, someone decided it was time to give the concept a positive spin. Whatever the reason, rightsizing is actually accurate – most of the time older adults are making a move to something smaller. But for the most part, it is about finding something that is the appropriate size for the situation.
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The process of moving as you age is very different, but there are a number of things that can be done to make things easier on yourself. Local moving expert Amy Czimer with All The Right Moves, a company that specializes in moving seniors, suggests that going ahead and giving items to family members allows you to move fewer items and actually enjoy seeing them use the item.
“Be sure to also pass along any information about the item – who gave it to you, when you received it, and any other memories associated with the item,” says Czimer.
If you need to get rid of lots of items and it is not important to keep them in the family, consider holding a tag sale.
Mooresville resident Nancy Baldwin owns Tag Sale Treasures. She'll conduct sales of items in your home so that the person moving doesn't have to deal with advertising a garage sale, setting prices and actually being there for the sale.
Part of Baldwin's job is also to identify things that might be of value so that they don't get sold for garage-sale prices. Basic household items, kitchenware and furniture are popular things to sell at a tag sale, but there's not much that's off-limits for these sales.
With all of the decisions surrounding how to handle your possessions during a move coupled with the normal stress of moving, it is easy to understand how this process can be too overwhelming. Sometimes, older adults opt not to go through any of their possessions, in an attempt to simplify things for themselves.
But, according to local author Julie Hall, who has trademarked herself as The Estate Lady, that is exactly what NOT to do. In her book, “The Boomer Burden,” she chronicles many cases from her years of experience as a personal property appraiser that show the infighting that can occur when older adults simply leave things in boxes for their children to deal with after their death.
If you are planning a move, recognize that in that phrase, “planning” comes before “move.” It's always important to line up whatever services you need first to make it a successful transition.
And get your family involved early to minimize the arguments down the road.