Making the move of a lifetimeMoving a lifetime worth of stuff can be a daunting task.
By: Jen Cullen, The Republican Eagle
Moving a lifetime worth of stuff can be a daunting task.
Just ask Geri and Russ Asper.
The Red Wing couple have owned their farm house for 50 years, living there permanently since 1985.
Though a few years out, the couple's upcoming move to a new residence will force them to downsize and make decisions about everything they've accumulated — from dishes to knickknacks to pictures.
"I'm emotional about everything," Geri said. "A lot of what we have isn't valuable as far as money is concerned but I start thinking about who used it for what and when. Then it becomes hard to part with."
Kimberly and Brian Alwin can relate.
The Rochester couple own A Smooth Move and specialize in making moving and downsizing easier for older adults.
One of the first steps, according to the Alwins, is determining what items are most precious.
"Think about those things that are precious to you and that make your house a home," Brian said.
Next comes the sorting.
Kimberly likes to use red and green stickers to mark items she will keep and not keep. Once that task is complete, she suggests dividing each room into an area for red and green items.
Not sure what to do with the stuff you don't want? The Alwins have four suggestions:
• Give it to family members
• Sell it
• Donate it
• Throw it away
"You'd be surprised at the things people keep," Kimberly said.
The Alwins said something should be thrown away if it's expired, you didn't know you had it, or you don't know what it does.
"You're going to have a better living situation if you start now," Brian said. "Now is the time."
Kimberly said downsizing will make life easier for children and other family members.
"You don't want to leave ... your family to go through all those things when you knew what to do with it," she said. "You want to leave the real special items for them."
The Aspers are just beginning that process now and admit it's not easy. In fact, Geri said going through all her possessions is intimidating.
"It's terrible," she said