Is it time to downsize either for you or a family member? Trying to figure out how to do it? If looking around and thinking about downsizing overwhelms you, don’t let it. There are several benefits to downsizing including saving money, moving to a community, and access to medical care. Keep reading our guide on downsizing for seniors to make this move as easy as possible—no matter how far it is!
1. Start Early
The biggest thing you can do to make this move easier is to start early. Don’t try to cram packing into just a few days. Create a moving timeline, and give yourself at least three months before moving day.
Make a downsizing list for seniors to help them stay organized. Make a checklist of all moving tasks and give them a deadline.
If you start early, you can just work an hour or two each day to be done on time.
2. Get Help
It’s also important to get downsizing help for seniors. Sorting through all the belongings is exhausting for everyone. Ask family members and friends and give them a task on your checklist.
If no one lives close, you can hire organizers that will help sort through belongings. Either way, this is not a task for just one person.
3. Think of the New Home Layout
If you or your loved one know the layout of your new home or independent living facility, this will make moving and downsizing even easier. You will know exactly what you can take with you and how much room you have.
You can also pack room by room and make sure everything has a home. If you are downsizing, there will most likely be fewer rooms, so you will be able to determine what you can donate, sell, or throw out.
If there is no storage like a garage or basement, you will have to get rid of even more. A garage sale is a great way to get rid of unneeded items and make a little extra money.
4. Do a Little at a Time
As we said before, it’s important to get started early. You can start small this way. Work in one room at a time to help stay organized.
For example, start in the kitchen and do the junk drawer. Then go through your dishes. If you are living in a senior community, you may not need as many dishes if meals are part of the amenities.
5. Make Decisive Choices
Moving is stressful. Research says that moving can be even more stressful than a divorce. If you lived in your house for most of your adult life, you can accumulate a lot of stuff.
During this process, it’s easy to put something in a maybe pile. This is maybe because you have too many memories with an item or you simply don’t have enough energy to let something go.
When you are downsizing, you simply can’t afford to be indecisive. There needs to only be two piles—one for keep and one for getting rid of. As you sort through each thing, you need to determine if you use it or not. If you say no, get rid of it unless one of your family members wants it.
6. Get Rid of Duplicates
One of the easiest ways to downsize is to get rid of duplicates. You most likely won’t need three casserole dishes in your new home.
Start making a pile of your duplicates. Then pick your favorite one, and donate the others.
7. Work Through Big Items First
If you are really not sure where to start, go to the big items. Take a look at your furniture and see what will fit in your new home.
For items that you don’t want to move, start selling and giving away now. You can get more room as you go.
Don’t forget you have to pay to move these items, so this can help you decide if it’s worth it. Don’t forget to get out the measuring tape as well.
8. Give Stuff to Family Now
If you have family heirlooms, start giving them out now instead of taking them with you. Give your granddaughter that old sewing table, or your son his old childhood toys. There is no reason to move this stuff with you.
It will help you get items out of the way, and you can also experience giving them to your loved ones now and tell the story. You can also invite the family over to sort through what they want and choose their legacy items.
Once you know what you are taking, it’s time to pack. Get all the packing supplies you can. Check out your local stores, like liquor stores or grocery stores, to see if they have any boxes you can have—you may not have to pay for moving boxes!
This is the most time-consuming and stressful part of moving. Don’t forget to pack and set aside stuff you will need in the first 24 hours of your move. This includes things like clothes, dishes, first aid kit, hygiene products, towels, and sheets. Having these items handy will save you from rummaging through boxes after you move.
10. Be Patient and Reminisce
Try to be realistic as you start packing and moving. Give yourself plenty of time when you make deadlines. You will get distracted and want to reminisce—that’s perfectly fine and is fun!
Moving is a time to be nostalgic and emotional. Give yourself time to feel this way. This is a major change, so be patient and kind to yourself.
Use These Downsizing for Seniors Tips
Downsizing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Follow this guide on downsizing for seniors to make the move easier for you or your loved one. As you look at downsizing home for seniors, think about moving to a community—you fewer things to worry about!
Are you looking for an independent living facility for a community feel? Check out the Cottages at Sanders Glen. Contact us today to see if this would be a good fit for fun activities, excellent living plans, and more for the golden years.