Simplify Your Life by Downsizing

downsizing your home

Moving can be a stressful time for anyone. If you’ve made the decision that it’s the right time to consider downsizing your home, the thought of going through all your belongings and deciding what to keep and what to discard can make the process even more overwhelming.

However, it’s important to recognize when your current home no longer meets your needs. Perhaps it’s too difficult to do the laundry because the washer and dryer are in the basement, down a precarious flight of steps.  Maybe the rooms are large and vacuuming has become a tremendous task.  The bathrooms may not be set up in a way that allows you to safely bathe and get ready for the day.

Regardless of whether you are moving into a smaller apartment, in with family, or into an assisted living facility, you will undoubtedly need to downsize and begin the chore of going through your belongings.

For many seniors, downsizing is an emotional task that brings physical challenges as well.  However, there are ways to start the process that can help make it far less daunting.

Tips for Downsizing Your Home

Once you’ve made the decision that moving into a smaller space is in your best interest- and that decision was probably one that was not taken lightly- it’s time to start sorting through your belongings. Recognizing that keeping everything you currently own is out of the question is the first order of business.

  • Make lists. Having a list of things to do with a timeline will help keep you organized and on task. You can also make lists of the things you know you want to keep, things to give to family members, and things you can donate or sell.
  • Start small. Don’t attempt to go through every room in your home in one day. Once you know that a move is in your imminent future, you can start the task of sorting through your belongings even months ahead of time. At the very least, plan to start the process a week before the move. Get the attic, basement, and closets done first- chances are these items in storage will be easier to sort through as they are probably things you aren’t so emotionally attached to.
  • Enlist help. Getting family members involved in the process can be a positive experience for everyone. Your loved ones can help you make decisions and you can even designate items for your family members. This way you will know the items are going to a place where they’ll continue to be well cared for, and you can tell the story of the items and why they’re important to you. Remember, your family is there to support you in this transition.
  • Have a plan. If you are able to get a floor plan to your new living space, this will help you know what furniture you can bring along and how much storage space you’ll have access to. You can figure out where your belongings will be placed ahead of time to make the moving day less stressful for everyone.

Downsizing your home doesn’t have to be a negative experience. Transitioning to a smaller living space will make your life easier, especially if you take the time get organized and clear out some clutter first. Plus, you’ll get to make some new memories with those closest to you throughout the process.

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