Downsizing for seniors is a common, yet emotional choice many seniors make when they consider their living options for their Golden Years. The home you live in may have housed an entire family at one point, and once they’ve all left there is no practical reason to keep a large home. You simply don’t need as much space. Some of other the common reasons a senior may choose to downsize include:
- Housekeeping: It becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with all the responsibilities of a home as people age. Minor home repairs, lawn maintenance, and other general chores can be a huge burden – especially in a multi-floor home.
- Cost: Many seniors, especially those who live on a fixed income, need to budget carefully throughout their Golden Years. Selling a home in favor of a small home, apartment, or Assisted Living facility makes sense financially for many people.
4 Great Tips on Downsizing for Seniors
Going through a whole household of possessions and memories can be daunting for both seniors and caregivers, but sticking to this essential list can help keep the process smooth and simple. Some helpful tips to consider include:
Tip#1 – Decide what your sorting system will be ahead of time
Figuring out how you will work through your possessions can help you stay on track and make sure nothing is overlooked. One good strategy is to start big. Move through every room – beginning with those you use the least – and get rid of the big items you know you will no longer need in your new home. This helps to clear out space so you can more systematically and more easily address the smaller clutter in each room. Throw away items that are not useful to you and hold no sentiment, and donate items you think somebody else could use. Make sure anybody who is helping you donate understands the types of items you plan to keep, toss, or donate.
Tip#2 – Take your time
Sorting through your possessions and getting rid of things is not something you should expect to be able to accomplish on a random Saturday. The process takes time and thought – and you will feel much less stressed if you leave yourself with plenty of time. You will need to consider the schedules of the people who are helping you get rid of bigger items. You have to account for the time it will take to get items to the dumpster or charity drop off-center. Not every item in your home will fall cleanly into the “keep” or “toss” categories – you have to give yourself time to reflect.
Tip#3 – Give people a chance to keep some of your belongings
Just because you won’t have room in your new home for something doesn’t mean someone in your family couldn’t use it. This is especially true for items that have been in your family for several generations. Ensure your children or loved ones have a fair shot at taking things that they want from your possessions before you trash or donate them.
Tip#4 – Be prepared to feel emotional
Last but not least, you need to be ready to deal with some intense emotions throughout the downsizing process. You might be surprised about the things you find while sorting through your possession and the feelings of sentimentality that could pop up. All the small things you’ve kept that summarize your life can hold deep power. That’s why it’s important to leave yourself time to savor the memories and reflect before you decide if you’ll keep things or toss them. In many cases, downsizing can be a very emotional process for everyone involved.
Get Ahead on Researching Living Options
One of the most important things to think about when you consider downsizing is how you would like to live the next part of your life. Retirees have a few Senior Living options, and the most suitable option for you will depend primarily on your health and personal needs. Reviewing living resources tailored for older adults, like BoomersHub, can help you sort through your choices when it comes to successful downsizing, it’s all about minimizing stress, maximizing productivity, preparing yourself for the emotions you might experience, and researching the next steps. Happy packing!