12 Tips for Downsizing over the Holidays

December 07, 2020 4:56 PM | Jeanne Fox Alston (Administrator)

Anna Novak Home Transition Pros

December 1, 2020

2 Tips for Downsizing over the Holidays

Are you an empty nester, senior, or retiree who is  thinking about downsizing?  Preparing for the holidays presents a perfect opportunity to identify the items you love the most, share your abundance with others, and clear a path to a fresh start in January. Here are 12 Downsizing tips that can help you get started on your downsizing over the holidays:

1) Reduce Holiday Decorations

Decorate indoors and outdoors with your favorite decorations, using the items you love the most with time and energy you have.  Donate the remainders early in the season, when your unneeded decorations will be happily used by others.

2) Re-Gift

Many schools, churches and charities sponsor Holiday Markets that make use of gently-used housewares, costume jewelry, coats and other donated items.  Take full advantage of these opportunities to put your unneeded items into the hands of people who can use them right away.

3) Spruce Up

Addressing loose door or cabinet knobs, burned-out lightbulbs, and other minor maintenance repairs will help get your home in shape for the holidays and beyond.  Downsizing tip: Be sure to use the supplies you have on hand before you make a trip to the hardware store.

4) Use Your Gift Wrap

Set a goal to use all of the wrapping paper, ribbon and tags you have accumulated over the years.  If you have supplies you haven’t used in many seasons, you probably just don’t like them enough to use them on a gift.

5) Freshen Up Your Food

Remove all outdated or unwanted foods from the pantry, freezer and refrigerator in preparation for holiday gatherings.  Resist the urge to “stock up” on pantry items during seasonal sales.

6) Let the Liquor Go

They say liquor never goes bad, but if you have spirits you haven’t served or enjoyed for several years, it may be time to move it out.  Can’t bring yourself to toss perfectly good liquor?  Look for cocktail recipes that use the spirits in question.  Here’s a handy website that offers a “Top 100 Classic Cocktail Recipes” with helpful search features.

7) Trim Down Tableware

Set your nicest holiday table or buffet, and identify the service pieces you chose not to use this year or no longer need.  There will probably be more than you think!   Really make the effort to set aside the ones that don’t make the cut.

8) Lighten Up On Linens and Towels

Get rid of frayed towels, unappealing blankets, and any quantities of linens beyond what you would need for a house full of guests.

9) Scale Down the Gadgets

Some of the year’s most elaborate meals are prepared around the holidays.  Take note of duplicate or unneeded items in the kitchen, and set them aside for donation.

10) Pitch the Plastic

How do these mountains of plastic food containers accumulate?  Use them to send holiday treats or care packages, and then keep only what you would typically use for 3 days of leftovers.

11) Pass Things Down

Offer relevant belongings to visiting family members or friends (but don’t take it personally if you don’t get any takers! Allow that to be your permission to donate those items instead).

12) Enjoy What Really Matters

The best part of downsizing:  the freedom to enjoy activities and spend time with loved ones with fewer responsibilities and less stuff weighing you down.

For more information, contact:

Anna Novak, Home Transition Pros

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