Minnesota Public Radio offers an interview summary mainly for the children and grandchildren who might be helping older adults pare down their possessions. Often this is in preparation for a move to a smaller place.
The most important point: no one regrets getting rid of the clutter.
The upside? Ekerdt said that of all the households his research team interviewed, no seniors regretted downsizing.
"They might miss one or two things ... but they feel empowered by having done it. It's a gratification for them."
Another point I should highlight: it’s easier if you start sooner. The ideal scenario is when you use an item for the last time and give it away the same day. In practice, you’re doing well if you get rid of unused items within five years. Otherwise, you may be heading toward the worst decluttering scenario, and one that unfortunately is one of the most common: a large house full of stuff that mostly hasn’t been touched in decades. Sorting it all out can literally take years. Avoid this monster chore by unloading your unwanted stuff as soon as you realize it is there.