Downsizing is a common practice for seniors. Whether you’re moving into a senior living residence or you just need a smaller house to care for, sorting through those items accumulated over a lifetime can be a difficult experience. Today, we’ll give you some tips on the best way to determine which items to keep and how to choose which things you can live without.
Get help. Packing and moving is a huge job for anyone. Enlist family members to help, or use a moving service, preferably one that specializes in senior downsizing. Specialists can help you through the process, breaking everything down into steps that are more manageable.
Give yourself plenty of time. Moving, especially when downsizing, takes time. If possible, schedule plenty of time for the move so you can go through everything at a reasonable pace.
Decide about storage. We have all amassed collections of treasured items that we can’t bear to part with. When planning your move, consider whether you can afford long-term storage fees, and whether there’s a good facility (ideally a climate-controlled one) near your new home. Sometimes, knowing that you’ll be keeping some things can alleviate some of the anxiety about downsizing. If storage is an option, consider using one room as a place to keep items designated for storage until they can be moved. That way, you’ll have a better idea of which size storage unit to choose.
Map out furniture placement. With a smaller living quarters, some larger pieces of furniture may not fit. To determine this, it helps to map out your new place and arrange things on paper first. This is also a great time to take pictures of your current home. You can use these later to show movers how to re-create comfortable, familiar areas in your new home.
Sort through keepsakes. This can be the most difficult part for many people. If you can afford storage, hold onto treasured pieces for now. Later, when you find that you don’t visit the storage often, you may be ready to give them away. Another way to hang onto those memories is to take pictures of each item and create a book – use one photo per sheet and write down all the memories associated with that piece, then store those items or give them away. Keep just a few of your most treasured items to make your new place feel like home.
Sort through household items. For everyday household items, you likely have several duplicates lying around that you won’t need in your new home. These can be sold or given away to a grandchild or anyone who is just building their own household. Create a separate area for these items or give them away as you go. Consider selling some of the more valuable items.
Enjoy the process. Downsizing as a senior is much different than any other move you’ve made in your life. It’s about making things simpler and enjoyable and building a new future. Enjoy that process, especially as you sift through all the memories you’ve had over the years. Downsizing can be very empowering, freeing you to enjoy other aspects of your life. Take your time and share all the memories with people you care about.
When it’s time to make life simpler and you’re considering assisted senior living, contact us at Ashbridge Manor Senior Living. Our dedicated professionals can help you through the process to make the transition to senior living smooth and easy. Our facilities are designed to make you feel right at home, with useful amenities, interesting activities, an emphasis on wellness, and a friendly sense of community for a relaxing lifestyle. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information.