You Are Not Your Stuff

Are you or a loved one thinking about downsizing by moving into a senior living facility? The first step is to declutter your home of all that bric-a-brac you’ve collected over the years.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: downsizing and decluttering can be difficult for some people. It’s tempting to measure our lives by the things we’ve accumulated over the years, be it an ornament or a tabletop knickknack, a board game or a piece of furniture. But always remember that you are not your stuff.

Think of your future. In your new life at a senior living community, surrounded by new friends in an exciting new setting, what is going to define you? Is it going to be the things you can’t leave behind? Or is it going to be the activities you do, the friendships you make and the new hobbies you learn to love?

If your old stuff doesn’t serve a purpose or bring you joy, get rid of it. That obviously doesn’t mean you should just chuck everything willy nilly. Perhaps you cherish a painting your granddaughter made for you, or an old instrument you played when you were young, or even a token of the love that reminds you of your significant other, whether they’re still with you or not. Of course you should keep what makes you happy. But don’t keep things just for the sake of keeping them.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Check out the new space before you move out of your old one so you know exactly what you can keep and what needs to go.
  • Be decisive. Don’t put the things you can’t decide on in a pile to save for later. Make that choice the moment you get it in your hands, and you’ll be happier about your decision after.
  • Don’t do it all in one go. Decluttering a house is a daunting task, and trying to tackle every room at once will be incredibly difficult. Think of decluttering as a month-long project, decide which rooms you are going to tackle when and then move throughout your home piece by piece.

Downsizing and decluttering can be difficult if you think about it as an end. But if you think about it as a beginning, the task can be exciting and even fun. So plan it out, create a list of your favorite things and always have your eye on your future. Remember, you are not your stuff.