Keepers vs. Has-beens:

Downsizing and Donations

About Downsizing and more…

  • Letting go of “stuff” accumulated over the years sounds difficult, but feels liberating.

  • Most of us own lots of items we haven’t paid any attention to in years—or decades. Don’t let your attachment to things overwhelm you.

  • It’s a process that brings memories of our pasts while helping us define what’s most important now.

  • Focus on the excitement of a new place and plunge in, selecting those gems that mean most to you.

sorting and selection process
Downsizing and Donations

Ways to make the sorting and selection process easier…

  • Start by knowing the new living space you’ll have; visit there and get a “feel” for it.

  • Enlist relatives or friends to help make decisions choosing items and lighten the load.

  • Choose a few pieces you treasure most, including sentimental ones that say “home”.

  • Select only those accessories you find beautiful, meaningful and functional.

  • Books are heavy and take up space, so keep your favorites and donate the others.

  • Keep only clothes, shoes and accessories that flatter you; donate or toss out the rest.

  • Think multi-purpose: ottomans with storage can tuck under tables, be used as coffee tables or placed at the end of the bed; drop-leaf dining tables can expand for entertaining; a buffet can hold a TV and provide storage underneath.

  • Offer items to your family members and friends now—it’s gratifying (and practical)

  • Face it: everyone has junk; use a service like 1-800-GOT-JUNK to take it all away.

  • Donate what’s not needed or wanted to charities; you’ll feel great as you help others.

  • Keep donation receipts for claiming tax deductions.

Some organizations accepting donations of items no longer needed

Big Brothers, Big Sisters


Household Goods Recycling of MA


Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless


Society of St. Vincent de Paul


The Salvation Army

1-800-SA-TRUCK (728-7825)

Vietnam Vets of America


  • Interactive Floor Plan
  • Think inside the box: View our multi-step moving guide
  • Need more info?

    • Or call (800) 372-3800
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