Being a senior has few advantages, but it still has some downsides too, and frankly, it can be a bother sometimes. One of the downsides of being a senior is you lose all your strength, which helps you perform some tasks.
What does this have to do with downsizing you might ask? I’ll tell you. Downsizing can be stressful and overwhelming for seniors; and by downsizing, I mean, moving into smaller and new homes. It is stressful, mentally and physically, especially if you don’t even know where to begin. Yes, moving into a new apartment can be exciting and thrilling, but it can also leave you with a dreadful feeling of not being adequately prepared to leave. It is essential to know how to prepare for this phase of life so that throughout the process, you can have peace of mind, and alleviate the stress that comes with the entire process. In this article, we will look at some downsizing tips for seniors.
What are the benefits of downsizing?
Before you even consider the thought of downsizing your home, it is necessary to know some of the benefits that follow this process. The benefits will be particularly useful to those persons who haven’t moved or relocated in years or even decades. Here are some of the advantages of downsizing;
- It eliminates the clutters: when you’re moving, it helps to get rid of clutters, which in turn helps you to park well, organize your things and make the entire process easier and hassle-free for you.
- It also frees up space: when you downsize, it helps you to free up space in your home. It helps you to identify the junks you need to get rid of. Freeing the space in your home, helps you avoid feeling stressed and overwhelmed when you want to pack and move.
- It helps you keep inventory on your property: you’ll begin to find things that you either forgot about or thought were lost. You may find small-sized furniture in your garage or basement, or you might find some pieces of jewelry, you might even find decorating sets which may spark some nostalgic feelings. Going through your stuff may even give you some ideas on how to decorate your new home.
- It helps you save time: Downsizing helps you decide what belongings you want to keep and those to want to throw or give out, so when it’s time to transport the furniture and other things it wouldn’t waste so much time.
- It leaves more cash in your pocket: it isn’t always cheap when trying to move; sometimes, you might even need professional assistance to help you move your belongings. When you downsize, you’d need less of this assistance, as you’ve sorted everything out.
You should begin downsizing as soon as possible
It is highly advisable that you start downsizing as early as possible, whether or not you have set an official date to move. Once the thought to move into a smaller home, (a senior care facility or condo unit), comes to your mind, then my friend is when you should start downsizing. If you begin to downsize early, there will be a slim chance of you feeling overwhelmed when the day to relocate comes. There are tips and articles online dedicated to helping persons who want to downsize and how to do it effectively. Some sites even have a checklist for seniors can use to get ready for a move within two months.
Endeavor to get organized
The first step to downsizing is getting organized. You create different sets of piles and sections for your belongings so you can track them better as you move them or park them to your new home. This is one of the most important downsizing tips for seniors. Here is a list of piles you could do;
- You can do the keeping/packing pile. This pile will contain all your furniture, belongings and personal artifacts that you want in your new home. Therefore, in choosing thing belonging in the pile you would need to take the size of your new home into consideration so that you can gain perspective. If you feel they are still some furniture you need, but may not fit into your new home, then you could consider renting out a storage unit, throw them out or even better, donate them to charity
- Another pile you could do is the donation pile. Rather than throw out your stuff, why not you give it out to persons who need it more. You could give out your old but usable clothes, furniture, and decorations. Doing this will help downsize your belongings a lot, but it gives you a great sense of accomplishment.
- You could also sell some of your things. Selling your belongings is another great way to downsize for your new and smaller home. You could have a yard sale where you can showcase the ‘useful’ belongings you can sell. You could also sell your things online and on social media. Platforms like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy are good for you to sell your things, follow their instructions on how to sell using this platform, and you’re good to go. So if you don’t feel like just giving away your things, then you might as well sell it off
- Gifting it out to your friends or family members is also a good idea, especially if you feel the belonging should go to someone you know.
Always clear out the unnecessary rooms first
When you want to downsize, start with rooms that you won’t be needing in your new home. If your present home has a basement and the home you’re moving into does not have a basement, then start working on your basement first. If the items on your hallway closet are no longer needed, then it would probably be a good idea to start there. The idea is to clean out rooms you’ll no longer be using.
Also, start small
By starting small, I mean that you should downsize little by little, so you don’t put so much pressure on yourself. You may feel pressured when you try to clean and sort out all your belonging in just one afternoon, or even one week. Downsizing is a gradual process that takes time; that is why you should always do it one step at a time.
Seniors should hire specialists who are trained in assisting them
Having gone through the above-listed downsizing tips for seniors, It is highly recommended to hire professionals to help you downsize and move your belongings. They have the proper tools and equipment need to do just that (sorting, boxing and moving).
It is vital that you understand that downsizing is a process, and there are steps to be taken to achieve this task. It is not something you can do in a day or one week. Sometimes you may not even be able to do it yourself. Therefore, you should always ask for professional advice when the need arises.