10 Downsizing Tips for Seniors
Are You Ready to Downsize Your Home?
Today, seniors are seeking options to remain as independent as possible as they age. One thing that can easily affect your independence is the size and upkeep of your current home. Is it becoming too much to manage? Are household tasks taking away from time that could be spent doing something more enjoyable? Will you need to spend money on big ticket repairs, like a new furnace or roof soon?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, it may be time to consider downsizing your home. While leaving a home you’ve lived in for many years can be bittersweet, moving to a senior living community allows you to recapture some of your precious free time to spend on the things you truly enjoy. Your stress levels will decrease, you’ll be offered social activities, meet others who share your interests, and you will feel safe knowing that assistance is available should you need it.
Easy Downsizing Tips for Seniors
After you’ve made the decision that it’s time to downsize your home and enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle, it’s time to start preparing for your move. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s quite possible not all your items will be able to come with you to your new home.
Here are ten downsizing tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your moving day:
- Create a moving plan. If you can get a floorplan of your new home, you’ll have an idea of how many of your belongings can come along and where furniture can be placed. Start researching moving companies and get some estimates so you know what your budget for the move will be.
- Write out checklists. Creating lists of things to do will help you stay organized in the weeks and days leading up to your move. Make lists for tasks like cancelling utilities and transferring mail, rooms to go through, items to pack, etc.
- Start as early as possible. As soon as you start considering downsizing your home, begin sorting through your belongings sooner rather than later. Closets, attics, basements or unused rooms are good places to start.
- Make decisions about your belongings. Since we tend to attach memories to our belongings, this can be one of the most difficult aspects of downsizing. While sorting through items, make quick decisions about what you’ll want to keep and what can be given to family, sold, or donated.
- Designate what items go where or to whom. Make some of those tough decisions about your belongings easier by keeping them in the family. Maybe your son has always wanted the train set that gets displayed around your Christmas tree, or your niece would like some of your old photo albums.
- Recruit some help. Even the most able-bodied individuals need help moving! Along with hiring a moving company, you’ll also want to enlist family or friends to help with downsizing your home.
- Use up perishables. Using up perishable items in your refrigerator and pantry means less packing for your move. Go through items in your refrigerator and pantry, making sure to put things close to their expiration date front and center.
- Tidy up while you pack. Cleaning as you get rooms packed up helps alleviate some of the stress as you approach moving day. While rooms are emptying out, dust and run the vacuum so you don’t have to clean everything the day before your move.
- Pack a “first night” box. Leave the full unpacking job for the first full day in your new home. Instead, fill a box with things like paper products, snacks, linens and toiletries to make the first night in your new home as comfortable as possible.
- Give yourself time. Remember, downsizing your home is a process that when possible, shouldn’t be rushed. Take time to go through your household, make smart decisions, and get everything packed safely in advance of your moving day.