How to Cut Clutter and Tackle the Task of Downsizing

Helping family members downsize

When Kahla Fortin found herself moving from a 2,300 square-foot home in Alpine to an 800 square-foot apartment in La Mesa, she was faced with a major task: Downsizing.

"As soon as I thought I was making progress, it seemed like more things appeared," said Fortin.

But Kahla says the more she worked to cut back on the clutter for she and her kids, the better things went.

"Just the stress of that big house and the things that go with it have been very therapeutic for me to move into this smaller apartment," said Fortin.

Darlene Cossio with San Diego Goodwill says people often hold onto items, from clothes to dishes, long after their usefulness. She says thrift stores have benefited from the move to declutter and downsize.

"We love housewares," said Cossio.  She says they often receive kitchen appliances that have never been used. The same goes for items in the closet.  Cossio says if you haven't worn an item in more than a year, consider donating it.  

"So if you have things that are tucked away in the back of that shelf, pull it out, we will do a lot of good with it in the community," said Cossio.

Many people find themselves helping parents and grandparents downsize.  Kahla Fortin has one piece of advice.

"Start early. Make as much progress each day so that you're prepared." said Fortin, "Because it takes a lot longer than you think."

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