Move, Donate, Sell: How to Downsize and Declutter Your Home

As the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement and looks to move from larger family homes to smaller, more manageable spaces, there has been a rapid increase in the need to declutter and sell furniture, collectibles, and other items. With their Millennial-generation children often settled in smaller homes of their own, without additional room for family heirlooms, art, and china, older adults are forced to decide which belongings to keep and the best way to eliminate the rest.

For those looking to downsize, the Mayerson JCC is partnering with the world’s premier online estate sale and secondhand goods marketplace for authenticated items, EVERYTHING BUT THE HOUSE (EBTH), and local downsizing experts Queen City Transitions to host Everything But the Seder Plate, a downsizing and appraisal fair on October 18. AgeWell Cincinnati will also be at the event to offer resources and support.

Everything But the Seder Plate offers an opportunity for everyone to learn how best to declutter and downsize from local experts, whether actively working through the process or simply beginning to plan for the future. In advance of the event, Queen City Transitions founder Betsy Goldfarb offers advice and techniques to declutter and downsize.


“Decluttering is so much more than just a buzzword right now; this event will help provide valuable tips for people who are ready to move on to a new phase of life.” – Susan Bradley-Meyer


Make a Plan
It is never too early to start downsizing. There is no starting age. If you are running out of space, can’t find items you know you have somewhere, or are living in clutter, it’s time to get started.

When downsizing and moving to a smaller space, one of the most useful things is to create a furniture plan. Measure the new space accurately and the furniture you wish to move. Draw the floor plan out. One way to do that is to use a design board or poster board with a scale of 1/4” = 1 foot. Once the furniture plan is determined, then you know what’s not going and can make a plan for dispersal.

Start Now
If you think you or your loved one might want to move in the next five years, start gifting items now so you can watch your family and friends enjoy your treasures. For those who are still using their treasures, make a list designating who gets each item so there are no questions later.

OHIO = Only Handle It Once
For every item you touch, place it in one of three boxes—labeled Move, Donate, and Sell—or throw it away.

SPACE = Sort, Purge, Assign a Home, Containerize, Evaluate
Think about all the places you have batteries or pens or light bulbs in your house. Collect them and put them in one container labeled with what is in it. Then put that container in its home. Now you know where to go to get a pen or battery or light bulb, etc.

Registration for Everything But the Seder Plate is open to the public. There is a $5 entrance fee, or a $25 appraisal fee to reserve an appraisal appointment for a maximum of two items per appointment. Registration for appraisal is required by October 4; appraisal appointments are available first come, first served. All proceeds from the event will go to support the Mayerson JCC Senior Center, which helps older adults stay active and socially engaged with dozens of programs, classes, day trips, discounted meals, and other opportunities.

“We’re so excited to partner with EBTH and Queen City Transitions for this event,” said Susan Bradley-Meyer, Director of Senior Adult Services at the JCC. “Decluttering is so much more than just a buzzword right now; this event will help provide valuable tips for people who are ready to move on to a new phase of life.”