Downsizing – It’s not just about getting rid of things,
finding new ways to enjoy sentimental treasures.
It can be a very emotional experience when faced with giving up things that are near and dear to you. These things may include items from the things you did, the people you met and the places you visited. These things may also include things passed down to you as the family keeper.
This collection of things and the memories associated with them is a keepsake of your life that can and should be passed on to your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Luckily, there are many ideas and services to help you find ways to condense these treasures into meaningful items "rightsized" for you.
As Senior Move Managers, we can assist with the "letting go" and help you find ways to preserve memories and move from "I can't" to "I can".
Step 1: Decide Your Goal
What do you want to end up with? Are you wanting to minimize, downsize, or recreate spaces you love?
Step 2: Understand how to "Let Go"
ask is it the item or the guilt? why can't you let it go?
disassociating the item from the memory of person that gave it to you
let go of other peoples expectations of what you should do with the item
keep the best, get rid of the rest
convert it to something digital
watch: Letting Go -
Step 3: Decide on how to create new keepsakes
Here are a few space-saving strategies to preserve your prized possessions … and your memories:
Capture digitally. Bet you have boxes and boxes of old family snapshots, love letters and cards, awards, magazine covers, and other pieces of paper you just can’t bear to get rid of. Whittle those decades of accumulation down to a manageable pile and scan or take digital photos of these items to preserve for posterity. See below for more information on digitizing.
Cozy up. Do you have a group of souvenir t-shirts? Have them sewn into a cozy quilt which, while keeping you warm, will also remind you of your most memorable trips or experiences.
Curate your collection. When space is at a premium, those collections of antique fishing lures or Matchbox cars may not make the cut. Why not choose a few of your favorites and showcase them in a shadowbox frame instead.
Conduct a tour. Before you pack up to move, preserve the love you feel for your home – and the memories you made there – with a priceless video tour. While you walk around your home, show where you and the kids rolled out the Christmas cookies each year, point out the corner of the garage where your husband did his woodworking, and don’t forget to include a shot of the tree in the front yard that’s always the first in the neighborhood to turn vivid yellow every fall. Be sure to also call attention to those special items that you can’t take with you, like your grandma’s armoire or your 100-piece Christmas village, and recount their stories for future generations. After you’re in your new home, this video will provide a comforting trip down memory lane when you need it.
Hire a painter to for a stunning still life that combines all their prized possessions, which seniors could take and enjoy wherever they go.
While you’re preserving your treasures to carry with you to your new home, you’ll also be creating a treasure of a different sort for your kids and grandkids!
Digitize photos, videos, slides, negatives, letters, and more
Technology makes it easier than ever to preserve memories and reduce excess clutter. For example, photos, diplomas, journals, letters, cards, and other paperwork can be scanned into a digital format and uploaded to external hard drives or cloud storage. Home videos on VHS tapes or film can also be converted into digital formats for easier storage. Creating a digital archive will ensure memories are protected from aging and damage while eliminating the need for bulky file cabinets or storage bins.
The very first step to organizing your pictures is to figure out what your end goal is. Is it to preserve them for future generations? Is it to create a celebratory slideshow for your daughter’s graduation? Do you just want to be able to find those cute pictures of the kids to share on Throwback Thursday? Whatever your final goal may be, give some thought to it now. It will help you prioritize your actions as you work through the organizing process.
Now is the time to get control of your photographs and create a way to preserve them. Here’s a 6 step process to get your photos in order.
Do you or your parent have a large accumulation of small mementos, collectibles, or keepsakes? Consider creative ways to condense their treasured memories into a single, meaningful item. For example, take photos of the individual items and compile them into a scrapbook. Or choose a few special items and photographs and arrange them together in a shadowbox. Your parent can then proudly display their favorite memories in their new assisted living apartment – without taking up too much space.