Downsizing During a Pandemic

This pandemic has affected so much. It even has caused a ripple in the way we downsize. We want to have the things we no longer need be redirected to places that will respect their value and help them get to someone who will use or treasure them like we did. This reassurance makes letting go of things much easier. However, while we are still living in a pandemic, many of these trusted places are closed, accepting limited items, have restricted customer influx, or there is simply no longer a demand for some kinds of things.

The most common ways to let go of things is to give to family, donate, or sell. These are all still possible, but you might find you have to adapt to work within pandemic constraints.

Family: Whether you feel comfortable seeing your family now or not, giving them your things might not be the best thing. During this last year when we have been stuck in our homes, many people have felt overwhelmed by their possessions. They have felt that their homes are overcrowded with things, and they have a desire for more open space. Ask your family, without applying pressure, if they want any of the things you are giving away and allow them to make the final decision.

Donations: Some donation sites are still not open or may only be taking donations by appointment. Appointments are often being scheduled weeks out. Charities may also be more selective about what they are willing to accept, limiting the types of items as well as quality and quantity of what they take in. You may need to research or be creative if the regular place you share your donations is not an option. This is a great time to expand your sharing. Search for other charities that are similar and open to receive your goods. Consider looking outside your usual area and check other towns. Your local library may not be accepting books right now, but the library in the next town over may be.

Selling: There are several ways to sell your valuable items but selling on places like Craig’s List, Facebook, or having a garage sale is not wise because of safety concerns. Consignment shops, auctions and estate sales are great ways to have someone else sell your items for you. During this pandemic, these selling places have seen a decrease in consumer traffic as well. Several are still shut down or must limit the number of shoppers at a given time. To have a greater chance for a profitable sale, look for a seller that also sells their merchandise online, creating a bigger audience for your goods. Ask the seller if they can extend the amount of time they will allow an item to remain on sale.

You can still move forward with your downsizing even if you haven’t found an appropriate donation site or if you want to wait until your favorite place resumes its regular services. Prepare boxes with the desired charity or selling service written on them. As you downsize, fill those boxes with the items you will be giving them once they reopen. Once the box is full, seal it up and store it in a closet or garage. When the destination is back to full operation you will be ready to go and can simply take the box as is to that location.

Don’t let the pandemic stop your downsizing efforts. Keep moving forward while remembering that it is still possible even if it may look a little different right now.

© 2021 Beth Giles    

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