You’re a senior who wants to embark on a new stage of life – moving to a new home or assisted living residence. The necessary cumbersome step you’ll have to take in order to accomplish this? Downsizing your current home. Eeek, what a prospect! Especially when you’ve been accumulating stuff for decades. The onerous task must be carried out, however, as a healthy way of letting go of unnecessary attachments that keep you tied down to routine home maintenance chores. You’re not a spring chicken anymore, and you can’t wait to live unencumbered by the burdens of a cluttered, large home.
Here are seven home downsizing tips to kick off the process:
Allow for Ample Time
Downsizing can be a massive task that will surely take up time as you, first, let the idea sink in, organize finding movers to transport your items (if relevant), and peg dates for when you have to leave the house and when you are moving into your new home. As you naturally are a slower mover than you were in your younger years, be kind to yourself and set aside ample downsizing and packing time.
Despite moving day being weeks away, it’s best to get a move on the downsizing process as early as you are able. Start with the small home spaces, such as the closets and bathrooms before finally culminating in the big, extra-cluttered spaces, such as the attic, garage, and storage rooms.
Draft To-Do Lists
Constantly writing up to-do lists will keep your mind focused on all the tasks connected to sorting, decluttering, and packing your belongings. The organizational habit will help you stay on top of related “moving away” must-do’s such as paying a last goodbye visit to your favorite neighbors, cancelling unwanted magazine and newspaper subscriptions, and having your mail forwarded, etc.
Be Tough on the Tossing
The goal of downsizing is to get rid of most of your possessions. Pulling this off will be hard, as you’ll be seized by nostalgia and a probable hoarding mentality that will make it hard for you to toss objects in the “discard” pile. However, it must be done, and once you get into the swing of de-cluttering your space, the rest of the process becomes easier. Sort through your belongings quickly, making piles of what will be donated, sold, kept, or given away to friends and family.
Have a Yard Sale
Every neighborhood loves a good yard sale. Not only will you be making money from your unwanted items and letting go of them for good, you’ll be able to say your goodbyes to the people in your neighborhood while giving them the chance to flick through your vinyl collection. Make sure you’ve given your friends and family first dibs on all the stuff you plan to sell.
Commission the Help of Friends and Family
As a senior, you’ll have a lot less energy and strength to successfully undertake the move. Ask your (younger) friends and family to pitch in and help with the big and small steps of the move. They likely will be happy volunteers in helping you manage the process, and, be delighted to help you out when a younger able body is needed to do the heavy lifting, packing, etc.
A Final Thought
Downsizing a decades-old home might be highly intimidating and emotionally harrying, but doing so will leave you with a tidier, unobstructed life. Count on your friends and family to help you sort through your belongings, and make the process less painful. Take their advice on what to toss out and what to keep, as you likely have emotional blinders on, having lived so long with the belongings you need to sort.
Written by Jim Vogel at Elderaction.org ... thank you Jim!