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Recently, Lynn Malinowski, from Caring Transitions in Perrysburg, spoke at a Lunch and Learn program hosted by Otterbein Portage-Valley in Pemberville.

Malinowski, a specialist at retirement downsizing and estate sales, offered these tips at the program, entitled, “Downsizing 101.”

At some point in our lives, we all will tackle the emotionally, mentally and physically draining task of downsizing a lifetime of personal mementos, documents and major possessions.

Downsizing is a time to review all that we have accumulated over the years and identify the critical few needed to move forward and live life to the fullest.

Here is an outline of how to get started….
• Create a plan, goals and schedule.

• Pace yourself. This allows time to make good choices and avoid headaches.

• Begin with items and locations that are not part of daily life because they require little or no emotional energy, such as a storage locker, basement, garage, attic, utility drawer; personal paperwork, books and clothing not worn for years.

• Ask yourself one or more of the following questions regarding each item:

Life enhancement: Does this item enhance the quality of your life?

Use/activity: do you really use this? Have you used in the past year?

Fit: Does this item physically fit in the new location?

Dollar value: Does it have a dollar value?

Lifestyle: Does it fit your new lifestyle?

Quantity: Do you really need a full set?

Use adhesive colored dots to sort items into one of the following five groups: Keep, Sell, Donate, Give Away, Discard.

Consider family heirlooms. Share cherished items sooner rather than later, making it easier to let go and take pleasure in watching them received.

Return all borrowed items and ask family members to remove any belongings stored at your home.

If you think something has value, have it appraised.

Consider charitable pick-up

You may have items that you would like to sell. With this option, consider the following:

• Identify your selling priorities – highest value, quickest sale, easiest method.

• Market values may be lower than you thought.

• Estate sales often require a minimum value, typically $3,000 - $4,000.

• Selling online can be done on your own or with the help of a company.

• Auctions typically are an easy method and garner lower money.

Caring Transitions manages Senior Moving, Downsizing and Estate Sales, including full or partial liquidations of personal and household items For more information about Caring Transitions of NW Ohio, call 419-874-2626, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.caringtransitions.net/nwohio.

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