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Tips for Downsizing

With the high cost of real estate in California, many residents decide to downsize after a divorce. The family residence can be too costly and difficult to maintain on one income. That’s why it’s not uncommon for people to opt for an apartment or condo after they split up.

A smaller residence means less room to store your stuff. This provides an opportunity to clear out some things you don’t need or use. It can be a cathartic part of moving on with your new life. Obviously, you may need to get rid of some furniture that won’t fit into your new home. However, other things can be cleared out, donated to charity, sold or trashed:

— Kitchen items: This includes small appliances, gadgets and miscellaneous tableware. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used something for at least six months, you should let it go.

— Books, CDs and DVDs: If you don’t see yourself reading a book again, donate it to charity or your public library and give someone else a chance to enjoy them. The same goes for DVDs. CDs can be transferred to your online music library, so why hang on to them?

— Exercise equipment: If you’ve got a treadmill that’s gathering dust, donate it. There are also businesses that buy used workout equipment. Besides, going to the gym instead of exercising at home is a good way to get out and meet people.– Clothing: Look at what you actually wear and what you don’t. We all hang onto jeans that we hope we’ll fit into again some day. Unless you’re using something as your inspiration to lose weight, donate it.

— Holiday decorations: If you’re moving into a smaller residence, you likely won’t need so many decorations.

— Mementos: This is a good time to clear out some memories of your courtship and marriage. Consider what things you want to hold on to and which will just bring you pain.

If your relationship with your ex is cordial enough to consult with him or her before getting rid of anything, of course it’s best to do that. Also, it’s important not to get rid of anything that your ex may be entitled to under the divorce agreement. It’s probably wise to consult with your family law attorney before “cleaning house.”

Source: AARP.org, “Downsizing? Ditch These 12 Items,” Jeff Yeager, accessed Aug. 20, 2015