Whether you’re planning to move into a smaller residence or looking to make things a little easier for your children or whomever will be responsible for settling your affairs when you’re gone, the process of downsizing is one that can be looked upon with dread and anxiety or with satisfaction—it’s your choice! But when you’re in the process of estate appraisal in Maryland, it’s best to start with both a positive attitude and a strong sense of your mission.
What should you get rid of?
Determining what stays and what goes is often much more difficult that actually getting rid of things. The process of going through years of possessions—and the memories associated with them—can be painful, but it’s absolutely necessary.
- Things you don’t use: While there’s something to be said for being prepared, it’s often the case that people save things to be ready for situations or needs that never arise. If you haven’t used something in your home in a number of years—or haven’t used it at all—get rid of it.
- Things that don’t bring you joy: These may be harder to identify, particularly with items that you associate with memories. A good rule of thumb is to remember that you can hold onto the memory of something you accomplished or a place you visited without cluttering your home with keepsakes.
- Duplicate and extra items: Obvious duplicates are no-brainers when it comes to downsizing. Extra items, such as silverware or dishes for 16 people, extra linens, more clothing than you realistically need and countless other things, may require a little more consideration, but remember that you should only keep what you need.
By focusing your energies on getting rid of these particular items, you’ll be much better equipped to move into a smaller place, and your heirs will no doubt appreciate your effort in the future.
Planning for estate downsizing
Sometimes it’s a challenge just to get to the point where you’re talking about getting rid of possessions in anticipation of downsizing. Especially if you’re downsizing specifically with your heirs in mind, it can be helpful and meaningful to enlist them in the process. To keep the process from overwhelming you—which winds up being a great way to avoid it altogether—you should consider approaching downsizing as a series of small steps. Make an effort to stay organized, perhaps by taking regular trips to donate or throw away unwanted items. Most importantly, take your time. If your planned move is a ways off, break the project into smaller chunks, and pace yourself so you have time to finish without feeling rushed.
Regardless of your reason for downsizing, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal for the process to seem overwhelming. If you’re at a loss for where to begin, or if you’ve hit a stumbling block that’s making it hard to continue, it may be time to enlist the help of professionals with experience in estate appraisal in Maryland.