19 Jan Downsizing to Prepare for Senior Living
After the kids are gone and it no longer makes sense to have the big house for just two people, the next stage in life for seniors can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Downsizing can be a daunting task when decades have been spent accumulating belongings in the same place. It can also be an emotional one when it comes time to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
In this article, we will give you our best 6 tips to make sure downsizing is as productive and stress-free as possible while still honoring the phases of life that have come before.
Tip #1: Start in Neutral Zones
The hardest part of any overwhelming task is knowing where to start. In this kind of circumstance, it’s best to start with the items in your home that are the most neutral, the items that have little to no sentimental value. Starting with the kitchen or garage before tackling the bedrooms or studies will help you build momentum to keep going to the next room once you see how much you can streamline without pausing to reflect.
Tip #2: Have Your New Home in Mind
Whether you take pictures of your new living space or you have a floor plan with you, know exactly what rooms you’ll need to furnish and how much space you’ll have when deciding what to get rid of and what to keep. This will also help you keep an eye to the future as you think about what things you have that you’d like to see fill your new space.
Tip #3: Decide What Matters Most
Before you begin to pack the boxes, sit down and make a list of the things you own that matter to you the most. Family photographs, heirlooms, jewelry, and other items should be identified as your non-negotiables from the very beginning. Keeping to that list as you start weeding through the things you didn’t even know you had will help you keep perspective on what’s important and what’s just “stuff.”
Tip #4: Pack the Necessities
Packing everything you own often means you forget to keep handy the things you’ll need right away. Make a special box of things you’ll need that first night in your new space such as your toothbrush, hairbrush, and a clean change of clothes.
Tip #5: Avoid Throwing Things Away
A lot of the things you decide to leave behind may still have a lot of life left in them. Instead of tossing these kinds of items to sit in a landfill, try to find a new home for as much as you can. Ask friends and family if they know any young people setting up their first apartment or donate to a local charity store. It will help the sting of getting rid of something if you know it’s going to a good place.
Tip #6: Start Early and Take Your Time
This process works best when it isn’t done at the last minute. Having a plan in place and sticking to it to ensure you aren’t making quick decisions will help ease the stress that downsizing can cause.
If you or a loved one is interested in taking this next exciting step to move into a senior living community, Golden Lodge Assisted Living and Memory Care is the best place to start. Download our free Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing today to discover what steps you need to take before packing the moving boxes.