Downsizing Guide for Older Adults

moving boxes

Tips for Downsizing Your Home and Belongings

Where to Donate Household Items in Cleveland


As older adults contemplate their future personal and medical care needs, they may decide that it is time to move to an Independent or Assisted Living community. This major decision requires one task that can be overwhelming for many: downsizing. 

You may have lived in your current home for 20, 30, or even 40+ years. You have spent decades accumulating belongings that can take time to let go of. The hardest part is often deciding what to keep—and what to do with the rest.

Remember that downsizing won’t happen in a week. Give yourself time, and start small. Ask a family member or friend for help if you feel hesitant to get started. Tackle one room at a time.


1. Find the obvious things you can let go of.

These items can be thrown away, recycled, or donated:

  • Old paperwork, magazines, and newspapers
  • Duplicate household items (extra blankets or bedding, kitchen tools)
  • Clothing that no longer fits or you haven’t worn in a year
  • Outdated technology (cameras, VCRs, old TVs, computers, and accessories)
  • Kitchen appliances you no longer use
  • Boxes that belong to your children or other family members


2. Make a list of items that are of great sentimental value and meaning.

You can decide whether to keep these items or distribute them to loved ones.

  • Family heirlooms or photos
  • Mementos and keepsakes
  • Historical items
  • Framed artwork


3. Determine what furniture to bring to your new living suite.

Look closely at the measurements of your furniture along with the dimensions of your new space to select items that will work well.


4. Sell unwanted items.

There are many ways to sell your unwanted items, whether you and your family members organize a garage sale, hold an estate sale, or list items for sale through an online platform like Facebook Marketplace. At McGregor, we have real estate specialists who can help with this process.


5. Donate items that cannot be sold.

If you are unable to sell an item, you can get the satisfaction of donating items to a good cause in your local community—and possibly receive a tax deduction. For example, Shop for the Place, a store that benefits The Gathering Place’s mission to support, educate, and empower individuals and families coping with the impact of cancer, is a worthy cause in Cleveland. Shop for the Place will take the following types of items:

  • High-quality, gently used furniture
  • Home accessories
  • Artwork
  • Lighting
  • Rugs
  • Giftware

If you feel ready to make a change and begin right-sizing your home in preparation for a move to Independent or Assisted Living, please reach out to our team. We can help you through each step of the process.


Contact McGregor