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One of the most difficult parts of moving for just about anyone is sorting through and packing all of your belongings.  That process can be even more stressful for seniors.  After a lifetime of accumulating things in your Utah real estate– and most importantly, accumulating memories – deciding what to keep and what to get rid of can be challenging.

This process is not only difficult for seniors, but also their families.  However, with a little planning, the process of sorting through things can be a positive experience.  Loved ones will also be able to provide support when it’s needed most while preparing their Salt Lake City homes for sale.  Here are some easy steps you can take to get organized and help it all go smoothly.

Getting Started

  • The sooner you tackle things, the easier it will be. It is understandable that sometimes a move has to be quick when your Utah real estate sells faster then expected.  If you have the luxury of time, get started as soon as you know you’ll be making a move, even if that’s six months or a year in advance.
  • Many seniors have children or other family members who are using their families Utah real estate to store belongings. This is the time to reach out and let them know that about preparing for the move and that they need to make arrangements to come and pick up their items.
  • For many, a simple notebook will become a valuable tool. Use this notebook to organize and keep track of important lists, dates, phone numbers, and any other notes.
  • Think about the items you can’t live without. Knowing what you really need to have ahead of time will help you when it comes to sorting through your belongings and getting your Salt Lake City homes for sale ready for the market.

Sorting

The easiest way to begin sorting is to go through one room or space at a time of your homes for sale in Utah.  Before you put anything in a box, sort items into one of 5 categories:

  • Things to Save – These items must be useful and/or meaningful. They include beloved treasures and the practical day-to-day stuff.  This pile should be the smallest.
  • Donation/Giveaway/Sell – Separate items in good, usable condition that you know you want to donate or giveaway, as well as things that may be of value that you can sell.
  • Discard – Things to throw away, including expired food and medications, worn out clothing and linens, or unusable household items.
  • Store – This includes seasonal items and holiday decorations. But be careful not to keep more items than your space allows.
  • Secondary Save Pile – These are items that you are unsure of or that need some extra time to go through. You’ll revisit this pile at the end and decide what stays and what goes.

If you still have a lot of time before you move out of your Utah real estate, use colored tags or stickers to mark items for each category.  For example, blue for save and red for discard.  That way, when you’re ready to start, you’re already way ahead.

Tackling Paperwork

  • If you don’t have a file cabinet or box for important papers, you can use a moving box in a pinch. However, you’ll want to separate the most important things: birth certificates, passports, medical records, deeds, insurance papers, durable powers of attorney, wills, military records and diplomas/degrees into a separate box.  Make sure a designated family member knows where they are located, or store them temporarily in a safe deposit box.
  • Consult an accountant or tax professional when unsure if something needs to be kept or for how long. You can also check out this guide to know how long to keep tax records and other documents.
  • Be sure to shred highly sensitive information, or things with account numbers such as canceled checks.
  • Since this part is usually the most time consuming, you may not have a lot of time available while preparing your homes for sale in Utah. If the pile is too large, do a quick sort to get rid of items you know you don’t need, and then wait until after your move to finish going through things.

 Getting Rid of Unneeded Items

  • Separate or tag items that will be going to one specific person. Keep track by creating a list in your notebook.
  • Before selling anything that may be of value, get an appraisal or consult with someone who is an expert in that area. You can also use this guide to determine the value of your items.
  • For bigger items you want to sell, consider setting up an estate sale or taking your items to a consignment store.
  • Arrange for trash pickup if you’ve gathered a large amount of things.
  • Schedule a drop off time for things that are being donated, or for the items to be picked up. Here is a helpful list of places you can donate items.

More Helpful Tips

  • It’s easy to get overwhelmed when preparing your Salt Lake City homes for sale in Utah. Keep the sorting process to no more than 2 hours at a time.  Try to relax and be sure to take breaks.
  • Sorting through old memories can bring up many emotions, sometimes difficult ones. This experience can be made even more challenging if someone has been living in their Utah real estate for many years.  It may even be the first big move in a very long time, and that means both the items, and the space they are in, hold an emotional significance.  Allow time to reminisce and talk about old memories.
  • Keepsakes like photos and collectibles are not only important because of the emotional connection they hold, but these items are what will make your new place feel like home. While it’s important to get rid of some things, don’t get rid of those items that make you unique and are a part of your history.
  • If you already know where you’re moving, keep the floor plan and available space in mind. That way you will know how much can actually fit, without having to guess.

By getting rid of items that are weighing you down while preparing your homes for sale in Utah, you can greatly improve the quality of your life.  Remember – getting rid of an item doesn’t mean getting rid of a memory.  Not every item needs to be kept in order to remember an important moment or person.  For many, knowing that the memory is still there, whether or not the item remains, can help throughout this process.