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‘I just wished at one point there could be a fire,’—Some insight into the emotional turmoil of downsizing


Ever since I wrote the viral 2017 Next Avenue post, “Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parents’ Stuff,” I’ve been a little obsessed with Americans’ love/hate relationship with their possessions and downsizing. So, I was fascinated to read University of Kansas sociology and gerontology professor David J. Ekerdt’s new book, “Downsizing: Confronting Our Possessions in Later Life,” and to have a chance to interview him about it.

Ekerdt has actually conducted exhaustive interviews with Americans over 50 about their experiences shedding their stuff.

In 2002-2003, he and his researchers spoke with 38 people age 60 and older who’d moved in the previous year within, or to, the…


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