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Spring cleaning and downsizing: The perfect time to start

By Tawnya Rohde, Director of Sales and Marketing–Independent Living

 There’s something invigorating about opening the windows for the first time each spring. The fresh air puts a little spring in your step. So it’s the perfect time to channel that energy toward something positive—like getting a jumpstart on downsizing for retirement.

This doesn’t mean you have to downsize all at once. Quite the opposite. Instead the idea is to tackle the process one task at a time. That way you can feel a sense of accomplishment… without feeling overwhelmed.

To help you get the ball rolling on springtime cleaning and downsizing, we’re hosting a special event:

Downsizing Simplified

Thursday, May 10 ­ 1:00–4:00 p.m.

The Lodge Clubhouse at Dallas Retirement Village

Lori Hayhurst, a downsizing specialist with Senior Solutions of Oregon, will share valuable tips to “de-stress” the task of downsizing. Click here to learn more and register online for the event.

As a preview to the Downsizing Simplified event, here are some guidelines to help you get started on spring cleaning.

1. The “one-drawer-at-a-time” rule.

Instead of tackling your entire kitchen, set a goal to clean out one drawer or one shelf each day. For instance, start with the spice rack in the kitchen. Throw away old spices or items you never use. The same goes with the medicine cabinet.

2. Simple way to clean out your closet.

The change of season is a great time to go through your closet and dresser. If you have shirts, pants, coats or shoes you haven’t worn in a year, then it’s time to let those items go. Simply donate them to the Dallas Evangel Church Clothing Closet, Goodwill or your favorite charity.

3. Eliminate unnecessary paper.

It’s time to tackle the file cabinet—one drawer at a time. Start by checking out guidelines regarding how long to keep documents For instance, you only need to keep tax records for seven years. And there’s no reason to keep records for cars, appliances or other property you sold years ago. Be sure to shred documents that show your Social Security number or bank account information.

4. Get your children involved.

If you still have projects, photos and mementos from when your children were growing up, it’s time to pass those items along to the proper owners. Gather everything in a box for each child. Then pass along the box the next time you’re with the family. Or ship the box if your children live elsewhere. They’ll enjoy the trip down memory lane. And you’ll enjoy shedding those boxes that haven’t been touched in years.

Also, are you saving boxes of china, silver or linens for the next generation? Now is the time to ask if your children or grandchildren really want those items. If so, let family members start enjoying (and storing) those items now.

Overall, you’ll be surprised by how good it feels to “lighten your load” and eliminate some of the clutter in your home. You might even want to consider the idea of downsizing and enjoying a maintenance-free lifestyle at Dallas Retirement Village. Call 503-623-9211 to schedule a tour of our Garden Homes, Lodge Residences or Village Apartments.

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