“I ask people to be really practical
and honest with themselves about what
they need moving forward,” she says.
“You can say to yourself, ‘Does this item
function for me? Do I love it? Does it
It’s often helpful to start by going
through each space and determining the
absolutes—items that will absolutely be
kept, and items that can absolutely go.
Quick wins will help build momentum.
“Don’t start with the photo albums and
mementos,” she says. “It’s really easy
to get bogged down with those and get
worn out. I usually recommend people
pack them and deal with them at the
The idea of getting a jump on
downsizing was recently popularized by
Margareta Magnusson in her 2018 book,
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.
Death cleaning “means that you
remove unnecessary things and make
your home nice and orderly when you
think the time is coming closer for you to
leave the planet,” she writes.
“Do not ever imagine that anyone will
wish—or be able—to schedule time off
to take care of what you didn’t bother
to take care of yourself. No matter how
much they love you, don’t leave this
burden to them.”
You need not wait until your earthly
departure date nears to reap the benefits
of Swedish death cleaning. Moving to a
smaller residence is one obvious time for
culling your belongings.
There are many strategies for gettingrid of things. Giving them away toindividual family members is a commonpractice, but Beliveau says it’s a goodidea to put a deadline on when theytake possession in order to show visibleprogress in the downsizing.
“‘Free’ is a magic word when you’relooking to get rid of things,” she says.Some agencies will do free neighbourhoodpickups, and friends and family can beenlisted to pick up and drop off giveawayitems at appropriate locations.
You can also earn a dollar or two onitems you don’t want to give away. Usingan online classified advertising servicesuch as Kijiji is one option, but you canalso have an estate sale while you’realive. Beliveau says some clients use thatstrategy to cover the moving costs.
Without a doubt, the most importantkey to a successful move is givingyourself as much time as possible.
“The more time, the better. It’s a very
demanding process,” she says. “Seniors
can wind up burning out.”
Staying focused on the bigger
picture—such as why a move is the best
decision, and the positive changes that
will result—helps to offset the short-
term pain of downsizing. Once you have
successfully moved out, you can start to
Half of all Albertans live paycheque to paycheque. So when an unplanned financial setbackhits, it typically doesn’t fit into the budget. So it goes on credit. Then it happens again. Youmight even find yourself having a hard time sleeping at some point, wondering how you’llget ahead of this debt. Luckily, as an Alberta resident, you have someone to reach out to
– someone who can help. At Money Mentors you can meet with an understanding creditcounsellor for free advice. Only Money Mentors provides the federally legislated OrderlyPayment of Debts Program which addresses ALL of your debt, even government debt.
Visit us at MoneyMentors.ca
To have good health you need more sleep.
To get more sleep you need less debt.
For tips on handling stress, visit
myhealth.alberta.ca and search for