Home Downsizing and Moving Tips – Room by Room

Home Downsizing and moving tips…room by room by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers.

Following the passing of a loved one such as a parent, grandparent, relative or close family friend what do I do with all of their unwanted household items? 

Many people do not realize how to handle all of the various categories of things found in the common household and are overwhelmed with even beginning the process. Here are some examples of how many of the usual items often found in each room. Shredding is not mentioned below except for the office but confidential documents may be found throughout the household and should be reviewed closely and if unneeded destroyed properly. 


  • Keep: Cooking related items you truly need or could use to upgrade what you have in your own kitchen.
  • Donate: Functional items in good condition or better – pots and pans, flatware, glassware, etc. – canned goods and other food may be donated to the local food pantry
  • Discard: Anything chipped, cracked, broken or worn beyond use including china, glass, dishes, old food in the refrigerator and canned goods and packaged food with expired dates
  • Recycle: Dirty, discolored, rusty cooking pots/pans, worn utensils, out-of-date and non-functioning small appliances
  • Sell: Vintage cookware, Le Creuset pots and pans, Fiestaware, Stangl plates and bowls, etc. 


  • Keep: Put family photos, heirloom jewelry and important personal paperwork in a safe place to take home to review closer and distribute to the appropriate family members
  • Donate: Clothing, shoes, accessories, linens, books to local libraries and retirement communities, paperbacks to our soldiers, hotel toiletries to homeless shelters
  • Discard: Undergarments, old toiletries, old medicine, used/old makeup, no value items from the “junk drawer”
  • Recycle: Eyeglasses, old electronics, wire coat hangers to your local dry cleaner, towels and blankets to your favorite animal shelter
  • Sell: Vintage jewelry, zippo cigarette lighters, coin collections, designer clothing to consignment shops 

Living Room/Family Room/Den

  • Keep: Heirloom quality china, silver sets and artwork if desired
  • Donate: Lower value furniture, incomplete china sets, extra glassware, CD’s and DVD’s
  • Discard: Used candles, coasters, incomplete board games and puzzles
  • Recycle: Non confidential paperwork, magazines, newspapers, old greeting cards, soiled tablecloths and placemats
  • Sell: Crystal bowls, Hummel figurines, Lladro figurines and related collectibles 


  • Keep: Recent tax returns, home improvement records, current files
  • Donate: Old phones to our soldiers, outdated but working electronics to schools or charities
  • Discard: Office supplies that are no longer functional – Pens that don’t work, dried up erasers, etc.  
  • Recycle: Obsolete fax machines, printers, power cords, old trade publications, ink cartridges
  • Sell: Furniture and higher-end electronics when updating/upgrading
  • Shred: Credit card statements, tax returns over 7 yrs old, bank statements, old confidential business/related records 


  • Keep: Family memorabilia, personal items and other heirlooms
  • Donate: Clothing, picture frames, low-value knick knacks, books in better condition to your local library
  • Discard: Worn out suitcases, baby cribs and car seats, anything low value damaged by the heat and cold from sitting for years that can’t be recycled
  • Recycle: Rusty bed frame rails, corroded metal fans, non-confidential paperwork
  • Sell: Antiques, old dolls, vintage toys and trains, sports, movie and political memorabilia  


  • Keep: Better quality hand and power tools and related machines and equipment if truly needed
  • Donate: Children’s toys, exercise equipment, games in good condition or better
  • Discard: Damp, musty, moldy books and record albums, broken modern toys
  • Recycle: Outdated electronics, rusty tools, old wiring, non-functioning dehumidifiers
  • Sell: Duplicate or unneeded tools, musical instruments that are no longer used, vintage stereos 


  • Keep: Better quality hand and power tools, shelving and storage bins if needed
  • Donate: Vases to your local florist, extra garden tools to your neighbors
  • Discard: Sports equipment in poor condition, toys missing parts or broken
  • Recycle: Junk metals, hazardous waste, paint, old bicycles
  • Sell: Lawn mowers and snow blowers on Craigslist, sort and sell boxes of unwanted things from parents, grandparents and relatives sitting for years

For more information on home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909 or via our website at www.personalpropertymanagers.com  Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, full service real estate services to help sell homes with proceeds going towards paying for the long term care of elderly loved ones and moving services.


1 thought on “Home Downsizing and Moving Tips – Room by Room

  1. longtermcarehub

    This is the first time I’ve encountered a company specializing in downsizing services that helps the elderly pay for long term care. For me this is a brilliant idea, turning trash into money. This will greatly benefit seniors who are planning to move to a long term care facility that don’t have private insurance and they only have limited funds. Yes it can be overwhelming a first but with this detailed guide on downsizing will surely make it much easier for people to let go of the things they no longer use in the kitchen, bedrooms, office and attic. Thank you for sharing this alternative way of paying for long term care and I hope your company can help more seniors who need financial assistance. For more alternative ways to pay for ltc, you can also find other methods here: http://www.ltcoptions.com/learn-the-basics/how-can-you-pay-for-long-term-care/.


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