QUESTION: We really love our home “ it’s filled with memories in every room. But we think we need to downsize. How do we do that without destroying 25 years of special memories?
"YOUR NEST" RESPONDS: Congratulations on your decision to downsize! At the same time, memories are such an important part of our lives “ and we can’t simply just toss them out. The first thing I suggest is that you get yourself a digital camera. Then, take some advice from Vickie Dellaquila and her wonderful book, Don’t Toss My Memories in the Trash “ A Step-by-Step Guide to helping Seniors Downsize, Organize, and Move. Vickie recommends that you establish a limited number of categories for your memories. You might establish 5 “ such as: before marriage; travel; children; after marriage; and career. Then label one clear container for each one of your categories. So, for example, you’d have a Before Marriage container, another container labeled Travel, and so on. Then, make your way through your home, room by room. In each room, carefully inspect your memorabilia and decide what you want to keep (remember “ you only have one container for each category “ so you have to be selective!!). You will want to toss or give away the remainder “ however, some of the remainder you may want to photograph thereby giving you a digital record of that memory.
At some point in the future, after your downsizing efforts are completed, make some time to sit with younger relatives (your children or grandchildren perhaps?) and make Memory Books out of both the physical and digital memorabilia you have saved. That should prove to be a wonderful bonding experience. Good luck!