Downsizing? Ditch These Items

  • Here’s what to pitch to get organized and reclaim space by Jeff Yeager, AARP|Comments: 390
     
    • The Big House

      En español | Consider making this decision as soon the kids are gone rather than when you’re ready to retire. Even if your home is already paid for, there are still significant costs in owning more space than you really need, including taxes, utilities, insurance and repairs. Plus, it will force you to downsize other belongings, too. You’ll also have an excuse for why the kids can’t move back in with you later!

      1 of 13
    •  Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items  Downsize Your Debt to Zero

      Istock

      Debt

      Over the course of a lifetime, the average American today will pay more than $250,000 in interest on all the money he or she borrows, according to Credit.com. Pay off debt as quickly as possible. Definitely pay it off before you retire. Live by this old-school rule: If you can’t afford to pay for it now, you simply can’t afford it.

      2 of 13
    • Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - clothes

      Shutterstock

      Clothes

      If your wardrobe has outgrown your closet and dresser, start by purging enough pieces so that everything will fit. Get rid of unwanted clothing at yard sales or online, or by donating items to charity.

      3 of 13
    •  Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items  - Anything in Offsite Storage

      Istock

      Anything in Off-Site Storage

      According to the Self Storage Association, there are about 50,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S. That’s more than five times the number of Starbucks! Vow to eliminate storage fees by getting rid of enough stuff so that all your possessions fit in your own home.

      4 of 13
    •  Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - Exercise Equipment

      Joshua Dalsimer/Corbis

      Exercise Equipment

      If the exercise bike or treadmill in your bedroom has morphed into a permanent clothes rack, donate it to a local thrift store or charity.

      5 of 13
    •  Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items  - Kitchen Appliances and Gadgets

      Shutterstock

      Kitchen Appliances and Gadgets

      Ask yourself: “When was the last time I plugged that in?” If it’s been more than six months since you’ve used the waffle iron or bread maker, it’s probably time to find that appliance a new home. While you’re in the kitchen, eliminate unused culinary gadgets and nonmatching tableware.

      6 of 13
    •  Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - Extra Car

      ZUMA Press/Alamy

      Car

      Besides downsizing your home and eliminating debt, getting rid of one — or all — of your vehicles could result in the greatest savings. According to AAA, it currently costs an average of $8,558 annually to own and operate a vehicle in the U.S. if you factor in all the costs, including depreciation. If you’re a two-car family, getting rid of one set of wheels might make sense once one or both partners are no longer working. You might be able to get by with public transportation or a car-share program, or at least downgrade to less-expensive vehicles. If you’re planning to relocate in retirement, there are communities where owning a car may not be necessary.

      7 of 13
    •  Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - Childhood Memorabilia

      Getty Images

      Childhood Memorabilia

      If your kids or other family members don’t want keepsakes from their own childhood (or yours) now, they’re not going to want them when you’re gone. Hold on to a few precious, symbolic mementos — those that truly spark memories and joy — and digitize images of the other things.

      8 of 13
    • Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - Furniture

      Taylor S. Kennedy/Getty Images

      Furniture

      Filling — and too often, overfilling — a room with furniture is a common tendency. Doing so makes the room seem smaller and gives you more places to store and display more stuff. Start by eliminating a couple of pieces from a room and see how much more spacious it feels.

      9 of 13
    • Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items -Books, Magazines, DVDs

      Istock

      Books, Magazines, DVDs

      Unless a book has sentimental value or you’re going to read it again, put it back into circulation via a yard sale or thrift store so that others can enjoy it. Or donate it to your library, where you can always get free access to books, CDs and DVDs. You can store countless e-books (many are available for free) on an e-reader that’s smaller than a single print volume, and you can easily digitize your music and movie collections.

      10 of 13
    • Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - Personal Papers and Records

      Istock

      Files

      Consumer Reports advises organizing your important files into four categories: “papers that you need to keep for the calendar year or less; ones that can be destroyed when you no longer own the items they cover; tax records, which you should save for seven years; and papers to keep indefinitely.” You can access copies of many documents (e.g., bills, bank statements, user manuals, etc.) via online accounts. Consider storing digitized documents on a Web-based storage service or an external drive.

      11 of 13
    • Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - Decorations

      Getty Images

      Decorations

      While holiday decor has some sentimental value, consider getting rid of the decorations you haven’t used in the past five years, particularly bulkier items such as outdoor decorations and holiday tableware you use just once a year.

      12 of 13
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      Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items  Downsize Your Debt to Zero
    Istock

    Debt

    Over the course of a lifetime, the average American today will pay more than $250,000 in interest on all the money he or she borrows, according to Credit.com. Pay off debt as quickly as possible. Definitely pay it off before you retire. Live by this old-school rule: If you can’t afford to pay for it now, you simply can’t afford it.

    2 of 13
  • Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - clothes

    Shutterstock

    Clothes

    If your wardrobe has outgrown your closet and dresser, start by purging enough pieces so that everything will fit. Get rid of unwanted clothing at yard sales or online, or by donating items to charity.

    3 of 13
  •  Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items  - Anything in Offsite Storage

    Istock

    Anything in Off-Site Storage

    According to the Self Storage Association, there are about 50,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S. That’s more than five times the number of Starbucks! Vow to eliminate storage fees by getting rid of enough stuff so that all your possessions fit in your own home.

    4 of 13
  •  Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - Exercise Equipment

    Joshua Dalsimer/Corbis

    Exercise Equipment

    If the exercise bike or treadmill in your bedroom has morphed into a permanent clothes rack, donate it to a local thrift store or charity.

    5 of 13
  •  Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items  - Kitchen Appliances and Gadgets

    Shutterstock

    Kitchen Appliances and Gadgets

    Ask yourself: “When was the last time I plugged that in?” If it’s been more than six months since you’ve used the waffle iron or bread maker, it’s probably time to find that appliance a new home. While you’re in the kitchen, eliminate unused culinary gadgets and nonmatching tableware.

    6 of 13
  •  Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - Extra Car

    ZUMA Press/Alamy

    Car

    Besides downsizing your home and eliminating debt, getting rid of one — or all — of your vehicles could result in the greatest savings. According to AAA, it currently costs an average of $8,558 annually to own and operate a vehicle in the U.S. if you factor in all the costs, including depreciation. If you’re a two-car family, getting rid of one set of wheels might make sense once one or both partners are no longer working. You might be able to get by with public transportation or a car-share program, or at least downgrade to less-expensive vehicles. If you’re planning to relocate in retirement, there are communities where owning a car may not be necessary.

    7 of 13
  •  Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - Childhood Memorabilia

    Getty Images

    Childhood Memorabilia

    If your kids or other family members don’t want keepsakes from their own childhood (or yours) now, they’re not going to want them when you’re gone. Hold on to a few precious, symbolic mementos — those that truly spark memories and joy — and digitize images of the other things.

    8 of 13
  • Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - Furniture

    Taylor S. Kennedy/Getty Images

    Furniture

    Filling — and too often, overfilling — a room with furniture is a common tendency. Doing so makes the room seem smaller and gives you more places to store and display more stuff. Start by eliminating a couple of pieces from a room and see how much more spacious it feels.

    9 of 13
  • Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items -Books, Magazines, DVDs

    Istock

    Books, Magazines, DVDs

    Unless a book has sentimental value or you’re going to read it again, put it back into circulation via a yard sale or thrift store so that others can enjoy it. Or donate it to your library, where you can always get free access to books, CDs and DVDs. You can store countless e-books (many are available for free) on an e-reader that’s smaller than a single print volume, and you can easily digitize your music and movie collections.

    10 of 13
  • Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - Personal Papers and Records

    Istock

    Files

    Consumer Reports advises organizing your important files into four categories: “papers that you need to keep for the calendar year or less; ones that can be destroyed when you no longer own the items they cover; tax records, which you should save for seven years; and papers to keep indefinitely.” You can access copies of many documents (e.g., bills, bank statements, user manuals, etc.) via online accounts. Consider storing digitized documents on a Web-based storage service or an external drive.

    11 of 13
  • Downsizing? Ditch these 10 items - Decorations

    Getty Images

    Decorations

    While holiday decor has some sentimental value, consider getting rid of the decorations you haven’t used in the past five years, particularly bulkier items such as outdoor decorations and holiday tableware you use just once a year.

    12 of 13
  • Money Channel Slide Show end slide

    13 of 13

Join the Discussion

390 | ADD YOURS

Down arrowLivefyre

 

 

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