to a smaller, more manageable living situation is an inevitability. Whether you’re moving in with a family caregiver or heading to a senior living facility, you’ll need to remove clutter and downsize. It can be a stressful and powerfully emotional experience, getting rid of belongings that have personal meaning that only you truly understand.
Seniors Downsizing can be a liberating experience as well, a way of simplifying and beginning a new chapter in your life. Handled properly, downsizing doesn’t have to be an overwhelming ordeal. Here are a few tips designed to make things a little easier.
As soon as you know a move is in your future, begin the downsizing process by identifying what can be gotten rid of and what you’ll keep. It’s worthwhile to give yourself plenty of time for this difficult process. Some people are so anxious to get through it that they rush things and end up making rash decisions or accidentally throw away something of real value to them. Don’t try to do it all in a few days or a week. If it takes a full month, let it take a month. That way you can go room by room, take plenty of breaks and sort through everything methodically.
Try starting small by working on getting organized, beginning with a room that isn’t as much of a challenge as your bedroom, family room and storage closets. Consider starting with the linen closet or the laundry room and gradually work your way up to a more demanding room. Make distinctly separate piles, dividing everything into what you’ll throw away, what can be donated or sold, and what you’ll take with you. Keep a sharp eye out for duplicate items – a major source of clutter – though most of your duplicates are probably in the kitchen. That way, you’ll be well-organized and prepared when it’s time to go to your senior downsizing move into a smaller living space.
Remember, the more you take with you, the more it’s likely to cost in moving fees (movers charge by weight) so be decisive and get rid of as much as you possibly can. If you’re a senior downsizing, you probably won’t have as many rooms to furnish, which means getting rid of an entire room’s worth of stuff. That’s a significant reduction in clutter and in the amount of belongings you’ll need to pack up and move, and it’s what productive removing clutter can accomplish: An easier move and a more efficient way of living.
Planning for your move
Do as much as possible to prepare for a move that should go smoothly and efficiently. Measure the dimensions of each room in your new home so you know ahead of time where furniture should go and whether you’ll need to get rid of some furniture or put it in storage. It’ll make things easier on the movers, allowing them to finish as soon as possible and saving you a few dollars.
If you’re moving into an assisted living facility after seniors downsizing, it may be necessary to find a local storage facility for all that furniture and over-sized items. Or, you may be able to find a friend or relative who can take some of your furniture.
Seniors downsizing to a smaller home, wherever that might be, is a daunting process for someone who’s spent much of their life in the same place. Take your time and have a plan. Remember that getting started as soon as possible can help take some of the pain out of that process.
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