10 Downsizing Tips for Seniors

Why Should You Consider Downsizing Your Home?

There’s no question that moving out of a home you’ve lived in for many years can be a stressful time. Between sorting through belongings, packing, scheduling movers, and setting up your new home, it might seem like a never-ending process that you just don’t want to think about. Add to that the fact that moving into a smaller space forces you to make decisions about what you’re taking with you, and you might just believe staying put is a better option.

However, downsizing offers a lot of benefits to seniors! For instance, perhaps the upkeep is becoming too difficult; doing yard work and cleaning the house have become tasks you dread. Maybe there’s a staircase to the bedrooms that has become too hard for you to climb, and you’re spending more nights sleeping on the sofa instead of your bed. Or, maybe there are simply just rooms you haven’t stepped foot in for a long time- you have way more space than you need anymore.

Downsizing your home can certainly be a bittersweet moment, but many seniors find that moving into a senior living community has enhanced their lives in ways they never imagined. They are happier, healthier, more socially active, living maintenance-free and enjoying a higher quality of life all around.

10 Tips for Downsizing Your Home

When you’re ready to downsize your home, here are a few tips to keep in mind to make your moving day as painless as possible:

  • Start early. If you think downsizing your home is in your future, it’s never too early to begin sorting through some of your belongings. Get into those closets and storage spaces and start weeding out items you no longer have a need for.
  • Plan ahead. Have an idea of how big your new living space will be; if you can get a floor plan, all the better! Knowing how much space you’ll have will allow you to plan for how much furniture you can bring with you and how much storage space you’ll have for your belongings.
  • Create lists. Lists help keep you organized! Make lists of things you need to do, such as shutting off utilities, transferring magazine subscriptions, etc. as well as lists of belongings you would like to keep, donate or sell.
  • Ask for help. Enlist family members or close friends early on to help you move. Moving is not an easy process and you shouldn’t think you’ll be able to do it all yourself.
  • Start making decisions. Sometimes, deciding what to keep and what needs to go can be the hardest part of moving. We attach memories to our belongings, and parting with them can be bittersweet. Keep in mind that not everything can come with you, so you may need to make some tough decisions.
  • Give things away. Oftentimes, family members are happy to take some of your belongings into their own homes. As they are helping you pack and move, designate certain items to them or let them choose to take an item they may have been coveting for a while.
  • Save the memories. You might not have room for all those old photo albums in your new home. Ask someone about digitizing them, or even pare them down into smaller scrapbooks of memories.
  • Use up what you can. Waste not, want not, as the saying goes. Use up perishable items and paper products before your moving day. This way, you won’t have to pack and move these items with you.
  • Clean as you go. As you’re packing, dust and vacuum the areas as you go. Cleaning little by little is a lot easier than attempting to clean the entire house right before your move.
  • Create a “first day” box. Place items like toiletries, prescriptions, cleaning supplies, kitchen supplies, basic tools, etc. so you’ll have everything you might need ready to go your first night in your new home.

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