Simplify Your Life with These Clever Senior-Friendly Downsizing Tips
Downsizing in your golden years comes with many benefits.
Lower energy bills, less cleaning and maintenance, more time for fun, and possibly even moving closer to loved ones. It’s a wonderful way to move into the next stage of your life. Even so, decluttering and downsizing can be challenging for many older adults.
Please read on for seven pointers that can take the senior downsizing experience from exasperating to rewarding in no time.
Get an early start and allow yourself plenty of time.
Chances are, this process will take longer than you expect it to. Don’t try to sort through your entire house over a weekend. A month or more is a more realistic timeframe. You can avoid feeling overwhelmed by tackling one room at a time and taking ample breaks.
Choose the easiest rooms first.
Avoid the temptation to start with a large, cluttered room like the garage or basement, where there are likely years and years of things to sort through. These spaces also tend to be uncomfortable. In the summer it may be too hot to sift through items in the attic, or the winter may be too chilly to spend the day in the garage. Instead, start with smaller areas with little emotional attachment, such as the laundry room or guest room.
Keep your new needs top of mind.
As you go about your decluttering and packing process, think about your new lifestyle. For instance, if you’re moving from a four-bedroom house to a two-bedroom condo, you won’t need as many bed linens. Keep four sets of sheets and anything beyond that can be discarded or given away. You might not have a garage or office space in a smaller home. Nearly everything in those spaces will need to be sold, donated, tossed, or relocated to other rooms.
Pack the keepers first.
Many people prepare to downsize by trying to decide what they don’t want and then packing the rest. Senior move managers suggest the opposite approach. Start by packing the essentials. What’s left can then be assessed and categorized for donating, discarding, or keeping.
Stick to ‘yes’ and ‘no’ piles.
When you’re sorting through years of belongings, sentimental items are bound to tug at your heartstrings. Don’t set yourself up for a huge ‘maybe pile’. Moving is expensive, too. Do you really want to pay extra to move things you don’t truly want or need? Instead, take a hard look at every item. If you use it regularly, keep it; but if it’s been sitting in the closet for a year or more, get rid of it. And if something brings your great happiness, of course it can stay. The idea is to be surrounded by things you absolutely cherish.
Consider giving family heirlooms early.
If there are certain valuables or pieces you plan to leave to your family in your will, now might be the time to give them to the intended recipients. You will get the items out of the way and can also enjoy bequeathing these treasures to your loved ones. Consider asking your children or grandchildren if there are any items they would like to have. You might find an easy way to make them happy and lighten your load at the same time.
Keep an optimistic mindset.
Downsizing doesn’t have to be a taxing, stressful event. Stay positive and envision the happier, less complicated lifestyle that awaits you in your new, clutter-free home.
Transitioning to a smaller home or a senior living environment is an emotional experience. It requires ample planning and logistics, especially when downsizing is involved. If you need additional resources or have questions, our caring team is always here to assist you. Please reach out to us anytime.
About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.