KYW Regional Affairs Council

“Downsizing Your

Senior Life”


By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If your parents have decided to downsize from the family home, chances are that a lot of their furniture and other stuff won’t fit in the new, smaller place.

(Margit Novack of “Moving Solutions.” Photo provided)

Margit Novack (right) is president of Moving Solutions in Wynnewood, Pa., a company that relocates older adults.  She says you’ll need to leave a lot of time for the sifting, sorting, and packing process.

“Most parents have spent decades accumulating belongings, and it is not something that can be dealt with overnight,” Novack advises.  And she suggests breaking the job down into a number of sessions:  “A typical sorting session is usually two or three hours long — it’s emotionally intense.”

When Michael Calvin (right) helped his parents pack, he discovered that his mother needed to do it her way, in her time.

“She spent over an hour going through boxes of soap,” he recalls, “but we found the top to their wedding cake and in three seconds she said, ‘Throw it out — what am I going to do with that?’ ”

Novack finds giving clients removable colored stickers to place on belongings makes it easier to define what will make the move.

“We always like green for ‘goes with you’ and red for ‘gets sold,’ but most of our clients need lots of colors. We may need yellow (for instance), for ‘going to your son.’ ”

Then make the phone calls.  Books can be given to local libraries.  Service organizations will pick up donated items in good condition, and you can sell others on the Internet.


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