Jill Phipps from Home Again works with seniors moving into Berwick Retirement Residences and other people who need help with downsizing.

Jill Phipps from Home Again works with seniors moving into Berwick Retirement Residences and other people who need help with downsizing.

Tips from a professional downsizer to help you declutter

You’ve lived in the family home for 20, 40 or even 60 years. With the yard work and maintenance you know you won’t be able to live there forever, and a move to an apartment or retirement residence is likely in the next few years. What should you do to prepare?

Berwick by the Sea helps seniors downsize and transition every day, and Community Relations Manager Callinda John keeps a list of trusted professionals on hand who can help with everything from packing to laying out your new space. One of the professionals Berwick residents have used in the past is Jill Phipps from Home Again, a professional downsizing service.

4 tips for downsizing

  • Start early: You don’t need to have a moving date to start decluttering — if you think downsizing is in your future try to tackle a bit at a time. You don’t want to feel like you’re in that ‘move process’ for too long, Jill says, but going through old files or a closet a week is a great way to chip away at the task.
  • Start easy: “When we work with people we start with things that are not emotional. There are lots of things that every person has in their house that are just there because you haven’t had a reason to get rid of it. That’s a good place to start,” says Jill, who adds that getting started is often the hardest part. “Once you get going you realize that it’s quite a satisfying process.”
  • Think in categories: Rather than sorting a room at a time, sort by category. “I always use the example of magazines. Go from one end of your house to the other and pull out all your magazines. Do it the day before recycling day so you can easily get rid of them in the end. When you gather them all together like that you really see the scope of what you have,” Jill says.
  • Hire help: Once you’ve sorted your belongings, a professional transition service can take care of moving belongings. Shipping to relatives, selling at auction, donating to charity… “One of the things we do is donate things like sewing supplies and musical instruments to schools.” Jill says many people hope to get money for quality valuables, but it’s not easy to find willing buyers.

Berwick by the Sea is an award-winning independent and assisted living community where residents can continue to live nourishing, active lives. To learn more, call 250-914-8055 or email bcr.marketingmgr@berwickrc.com. Follow Berwick on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates!

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