Kathleen Houseweart, MBA
Director, Lutheran Services Florida Sarasota Guardianship Program
Spring is the traditional time for cleaning. Many of us take time to clean out closets, clean up the
yard, and deep clean our homes, all in preparation for spring. For older adults, downsizing our
living space and reducing the number of possessions can be an inevitable part of aging. Yet
studies suggest that while most seniors agree that they have too much stuff, most have made little
effort to give away possessions within the last 12 months.
Downsizing can be particularly difficult, especially if we have held on to things in hopes of
leaving them to children or grandchildren. Most senior move specialists advise that in many
cases, children and grandchildren are not interested in keeping most of the keepsakes that mean
so much to many of us. For many of them, they just don’t have the room, for others, they do not
have a permanent place to store them. In short, when you are gone, those items that you have
held on to for so long will be sold or donated to a local charity. A better option might be to plan
ahead. Here are some easy steps
- Ask your children and grandchildren what keepsakes they might want. Keep those items
for them, or better yet, give them to your family now to enjoy.
- Look around and see what is “in the way” and make arrangements to sell or donate or gift
to someone who can use it.
- Honestly ask yourself what you no longer need, or have not used on over a year and let it
Cleaning out can make your life and your home less cluttered now, and in the long run, is a gift
to your loved ones.