5 Options for Seniors Downsizing Items in Their Homes

Anchorage Assisted Living

Many seniors and their families are coming across an issue when it’s time to downsize out of their larger homes into a smaller, more manageable space. They may find that the items they’ve accumulated over their lifetime won’t fit in their new place or are no longer needed. These items will have to go, but what’s the best option for getting rid of them? There are several ways to downsize these items.

Family and Friends

Some generations aren’t interested in owning many things that were deemed essential by older generations, such as fine china. However, when a senior is downsizing, one of the first options should be to speak with family and friends about the items. There may be some items of sentimental value that they’d like to keep. Perhaps they want grandma’s gravy boat to use during the holidays because they always helped make the gravy, or have another fond memory connected to some item. Inquire with them first to help slim down the items and keep heirloom items in the family.

Estate Sale

An estate sale is a great way to quickly downsize items while bringing in money to help with bills. You can either throw a garage sale, where items are priced and sold by the homeowners, or utilize an estate sale service. The nice thing about a service is that they often have a good idea of the value of items and the best ways to advertise to get buyers in the door. They also handle all of the arrangements of the estate sale. The downside is that they take a percentage of the profits made depending on the contract, and it may be larger than you’d like. To avoid paying out money to a service, it’s often necessary to handle all of the details yourself, such as advertising the sale on Craigslist, pricing the items, and putting out signs pointing towards the sale.

Consignment Shops

In handling senior downsizing, it may not be ideal for the items to be displayed or sold at home. Consignment shops can be an excellent way to downsize without losing out on the potential for adding to a retirement account. Items are displayed in the consignment shop, and when they are sold the owner gets a percentage of the profit. All consignment shops are different in their terms, so it’s essential to read the fine print to ensure that everyone is happy with the arrangement. Some shops will slowly drop the price over time, while others may have you pick up the item if it doesn’t sell by a set date. They may also have different payment arrangements.

Online Sales

Etsy, eBay, and other online sale sites are another option when it comes to downsizing. Often, all that is needed to sell items is a few pictures, a description, and an idea of how much to sell the item for on the website. It can help to research how much other similar items have sold for recently to get an idea of how much it they worth. This step will make pricing easier. Plus, it means you won’t be overpricing an item to the point that it never sells or losing a quality item for a below-average price. A downside to selling online is that things often need to be shipped to the new owner, and it takes time to create auctions. It can be an excellent way to get items in front of a broad audience looking for replacement pieces of china for their sets, or other collectors’ objects.


Charities are a great place for individuals who are downsizing and aren’t worried about getting profit. Think of places like your local community thrift store, church, or school rummage sale as good options to donate your unnecessary items. Donations to a charity can be very beneficial when going through downsizing, because they are often supporting a good cause and can often be a tax write-off depending on where you make your donation. Be sure to get a receipt if you donate to your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, or other charity.

It can be challenging for a senior and their family to handle downsizing, but it’s often necessary in cases when they move to a smaller apartment or assisted living. Taking advantage of one or more of these options can reduce the number of items they bring with them while potentially increasing their bank account.

Living at Baxter Senior Living in Anchorage Alaska At Baxter Senior Living, we work to ensure that our community is an extension of your loved ones family. If you are at a place in your life that you need to discuss Anchorage Assisted Living, Anchorage Memory Care, or Anchorage Respite Care please reach out today. We are happy to help answer any questions. Contact a Baxter Senior Living Representative today! 907-865-3500

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