Senior couple packing “I may have a use for this someday.” We all have items we hold onto with this thought in mind. But in reality, the old stacks of National Geographic magazines, boxes of loose photographs, old tools, heirloom silver teapots and other memorabilia end up stashed in our garages, attics and closets without another thought given to them.

However, what happens when “someday” never happens, and those stacks of things have grown to be more of a problem than a benefit? For seniors who’ve collected a lifetime of mementos, it can seem impossible to take on the work of determining what to do with everything, and some downsizing help for seniors may be in order.

One helpful tip to determine what is kept and what is either repurposed, recycled, given away or thrown away is to ask yourself for each item: “Does it spark joy?” This plan, in accordance with the approach in Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” makes it possible for radical decluttering along with an opportunity to revisit the past and come to peace with it. Even though the process of decluttering can be emotional, at the end of the day, it can also feel very liberating.

A change in attitude helps make a significant difference between the drudgery of downsizing and the convenience of making certain an older adult’s home is well organized. An expression has even been coined in order to replace the negative connotations of “downsizing”: “rightsizing”. “Rightsizing” is used as a way to celebrate changes in the next life phase by making one’s living environment better suited for that phase of life. It places the focus on treasuring those items being kept, rather than on the loss of items that may, in reality, have basically been gathering dust.

Atlanta Home Care Partners is available to provide downsizing help for seniors and other home organization tasks, and can coordinate larger scale work such as removal of furniture along with other large items. Our friendly caregivers are also on hand to share in reminiscing over beloved treasures, going through picture albums, and listening as the senior shares life memories, as well as hands-on assistance with the “rightsizing” project itself. Call us at 404.228.0103 or contact us online for assistance.