For many senior citizens and retirees, downsizing is something to look forward to. While it means leaving your old home —and all it's memories— behind, downsizing also means the opportunity to start fresh. Buy that new furniture you’ve always wanted, buy those nice new appliances and look forward to having someone else take care of the yard work for a change. Throw away the years worth of old magazines, the old tires stuffed in the shed, the cans of paint that turned to multicolored concrete long ago. Buy a nice new bed with that amazing memory foam for comfort, get rid of the old tube TVs and buy one of the new wall mounted flat screens the kids all have. Maybe even get rid of the old 286 PC and dot matrix printer and replace them with an iMac and a compact color laser printer. Downsizing is the ultimate opportunity to clean house and begin again. Besides, as your realtor will tell you, cleaning out all that junk is going to make selling your house that much easier.
Unfortunately, downsizing can be easier said than done. It’s one thing to say you’re going to ditch that old chest freezer that’s been eating power in the basement for the past twenty years, or that there’s no room in a condo for the avocado green beer fridge sitting in the garage, but how do you get rid of them? The days when you could get away with tossing old appliances at the curbside for the city garbage collection crew to pick up are long gone. Not to mention the effort needed to lug those heavy things through the house and outside. The recent waste management rules around proper disposal of many household items makes things even more complex. For example, New Jersey now looks to residents to dispose of electronic waste through certified disposal and recycling facilities —that means throwing out those old PCs, TVs and printers is a no-no.