Senior With Coffee | Lake AshtonOne of the challenges of retiring in Florida – or anywhere, for that matter – is what to do with all of the things you have that represent so many wonderful memories. Most of us have a hard enough time purging our meaningless junk, so it’s understandable how difficult it can be to get rid of those items we don’t need or have room for that are rich in sentimental value. These tips can help:

• Get rid of the obvious junk. If you’re preparing to retire in Florida, take a pass through all your boxes, drawers, shelves, and so on, and get rid of anything that you don’t use and doesn’t have any meaning to you. Discard or donate depending on the item.

• Don’t try to do it all at once. Sorting emotionally-charged items can be exhausting. Schedule a time limit of three to four hours, then stop and start again in a few days. You’ll be less likely to make decisions you’ll regret if you’re fresh and rested.

• Apply the test. If you’re not sure whether to keep or toss, ask yourself: What’s significant about this? Will I use it or display it, or will it be stored in a box forever? Could it be more valuable to someone else? Be guided by your answers. If your goal is to make retiring in Florida a clutter-free adventure, you may have to make some tough decisions.

• Toss the item, keep the memory. For items with sentimental value that you know you’ll never use, take photographs and create a memory album that you can enjoy, then sell, donate or give away the item so it can become meaningful to someone else.