How To Declutter Without Saying Goodbye to Everything You Love

August 25, 2019

Transitioning into an independent living or assisted living environment can be a difficult time. Letting go of a houseful of a lifetime of memories is never easy. Decluttering and deciding what to keep and what to say goodbye to is one of the most difficult challenges of the transitioning process. 

Decluttering is one of those things that we often dread but feel so much better about once it’s done. While transitioning to a new living environment requires some downsizing, it isn’t necessary to let go of everything you love. Here are a few strategies for downsizing and decluttering without letting go of the treasures that mean the most to you. 

Begin By Rephrasing the Question

A change in perspective is often helpful when decluttering. We often think about decluttering in terms of loss – like we’re losing a piece of ourselves or “throwing away” our history. There are natural, emotional connections that we form with objects, and making the transition easier often involves changing how we think about the process.

Rather than thinking about it in terms of what you’re getting rid of, approach it from the perspective of what you’re going to keep. This mindset will help you reprioritize and identify the objects that mean the most to you. Once you know you’re keeping what really matters, letting go of everything else becomes easier. 


We hold onto many of the things we love for sentimental reasons, even if it means leaving them in a box in the closet for years at a time. Certain things are understandably hard to let go of, and if you’re having trouble parting with something, consider if there’s a way to repurpose items to make them more usable.

For instance, maybe you have a collection of postcards sitting in a box from all your travels. You could take several of your favorites and place them in a shadow box with a couple other meaningful travel mementos. This reduces the boxes of clutter; lets you hold on to those that are most dear and you create a hangable piece of art that takes up very little room in the process. 

Give It Away 

Knowing that your cherished belongings aren’t gone forever can make the process of parting with them a little easier. If you have family heirlooms or items that are of major significance that just aren’t practical to bring along in your move, considering finding someone who would love to have them and cherish them as much as you. Ask family and close friends if they would like to be gifted any of your special treasures. You may not have it in your possession any longer, but it’s still with someone who is special in your life. 

Making the Transition Easier

Transitioning to a new living environment is stressful enough on its own but choosing a community that is committed to your care and wellbeing helps to make it easier. At Lexington Square, we’re focused on providing the best possible quality of life for our residents. Reach out to us at Lexington Square today to learn more about our independent and assisted living communities.

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