Senior Couple Downsizing

Downsizing When You Retire: 7 Items to Reconsider Keeping or Tossing

Downsizing? Retiring? Check out our top 7 items you should reconsider keeping or getting rid of when moving into your smaller space.

Couple Downsizing After Retirement in New Home

Retirement is a life event that many of us start to look forward to as we get toward the end of our careers. And once it has been achieved? We can focus more of our time on our families, hobbies, and relaxation. But with retirement often comes the downsizing of our homes, and it can be a daunting task, particularly when we lose square footage in a new place. While it is important to keep essential and sentimental items, there are a few key items you should reconsider when downsizing.

1. Exercise Equipment

Exercise equipment can take up a large footprint, especially treadmills, ellipticals, and multi-purpose workout stations. Consider the cost of moving these particular items and also determine the last time they were utilized. If you decide to get rid of your equipment, many different companies offer fitness equipment removal and disposal, such as 1-800-GOTJUNK. If you’re concerned that your exercise regiment will suffer without equipment, don’t worry. SilverSneakers classes – online and in-person at over 15,000 gyms nationwide – are available to adults over 65 with select Medicare plans.

2. Extra Bedroom Furniture

If your new home has fewer bedrooms than you previously had, do not move extra beds, mattresses, and dressers with you. Instead, you should move a primary and guest bedroom set, if space allows it, to your new downsized home. If you are holding onto your children’s old bedroom sets or even nursery furniture, find a new home for it. You can donate your old furniture to Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, or other local thrift shops. For anything you’d like to keep, but do not have room for, house them in a climate controlled storage unit.

3. Wall Units & Bookcases

Wall units, including entertainment centers, oversized china cabinets, and substantially sized bookcases, can be cumbersome to move. Additionally, your new, smaller home may not have the adequate space needed for these larger furniture pieces. Before determining whether or not to be done with the item, check to see if it comprises smaller pieces. For example, many large entertainment centers have narrow bookcases attached to each side. These bookcases can also function as standalone pieces, which may work in your new space.

4. Patio Furniture

Taking your patio furniture is entirely dependent upon whether or not your new home will have an outdoor area spacious enough for your outdoor accessories. If you’re moving to an apartment with little to no outdoor space, reconsider moving your patio furniture. Also, take time to think about where you’re going to store those items during the cooler months. If you previously had a shed or garage and no longer have one, you may want to consider parting with those items or self storage.

5. The Grill

If you’re moving from your own home to a rental, double-check to ensure your lease allows grills (and if so, what size and type). The answer may determine whether or not you move the kind you already own. This is true for any smaller space. If your new home lacks a patio or some sort of yard, hauling your old grill over may end up being unnecessary work.

6. Downsizing Your Duplicates

Now is the time to consider and eliminate the things you have duplicates of (and never really used!). Some things that take up space include Tupperware, winter coats, linens, hobby materials, and kitchen accessories. Assess the function of each kitchen accessory. Do some of these items do the same thing? Do you need an Instapot and a slow cooker? A hand mixer and a stand mixer? If they perform the same function and you really only use one, donate the other before you move. Not to mention, if you’ve held onto those crafting supplies for years and haven’t used them by now, chances are you aren’t going to.

7. Your Children’s Toys

Old children’s toys can prove to be quite tricky, as saying goodbye is like parting with a memory. However, sort through the items with your grown children. If they have the storage space, they can take the items off your hands, potentially repurposing them for their own families. For anything left over, you could identify one of many different charitable organizations that would happily accept those gently used toys and games.

Self Storage When Downsizing

If you’re finding that it’s just too difficult to determine what to part with as you downsize, that is OK! Self storage is an option. Whether you need more basement, garage, attic, or shed space, you can find it at Prime Storage. Prime facilities offer convenient drive-up units, elevator accessibility, RV, boat, and vehicle parking storage, and climate controlled storage (features vary by facility). To find Prime Storage near your new home, visit us at

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Tagged as  Moving