For most seniors, there comes a time in life when it just makes sense to downsize. Whether this means moving into a senior living environment, or just moving to a smaller home, downsizing can be an emotional experience that requires planning and logistics. If you feel overwhelmed by decluttering a lifetime of clutter, just follow our downsizing tips for seniors.
Have an open conversation with loved ones about your reasons for downsizing. With a big life move, like this one, understanding the reasons and having a clear goal can make it easier to let go of possessions. Ask those close to you if any of your possessions evoke good memories for them. Sharing it now allows you both to feel good about the exchange, and makes sure that any heartwarming stories or history are shared with the item. The emotions involved are compounded if downsizing is for divorce or the death of a spouse.
If you even have an inkling that it may be good to downsize in a few years, start going through your belongings. Begin with one closet or room and give yourself an entire weekend to go through it. Starting early will leave less to do when it’s actually time to move, plus you may enjoy it without the worry of a deadline! It may even be part of the process of digitizing your family history or photos.
Start by getting rid of clutter. It’s easy to let go of items that are just taking up space and are not really being used. Also, get rid of duplicate items. When making piles, make only a yes pile and a no pile. A maybe pile will not help you make progress unless you have that much stuff. Sometimes the easy “nos” make the decisions clearer.
For the no piles, set aside items you would like family members to have, items you would like to donate, and items you would like to sell. Bonus tip – take pictures of any sentimental items, as a picture takes up much less room than the object.
“I know it sounds silly, but people do it all the time. Moving isn’t cheap, either; do you really want to pay extra to move stuff you don’t even want? Don’t delude yourself by telling yourself you’ll deal with it at your next destination. No, you won’t.” Hazel Thornton
Let your new space guide you when it’s time to downsize. Consider any rooms that will be eliminated and also think about any new amenities that will be provided at the new residence. If the new place will not have enough space for everything, you can also consider renting a storage unit, if you’re in a pinch on time.
It’s not realistic to plan to downsize and pack everything in a weekend. Give yourself time to relive old memories while going through your belongings. Keep a pad and paper with you to write down memories so that it’s easier to let material possessions go. You might consider inviting a family member as a helper, it could be a way to spend some quality time together!
Minimalism is all the rage with the Y and Z generations, but we just think of it as downsizing and organizing. No matter what you choose, we hope you enjoy the process. As always, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter if you found this on social media and get back to living your best life!