Downsizing Tips for SeniorsMake text bigger | Make text smaller
Tips for downsizing seniors
Many Americans are making the decision to downsize, whether it be moving to a smaller home or getting rid of excess stuff. While this is an excellent stride toward living more simply, it may pose specific challenges for seniors. Giving up items and moving away from familiar surroundings can be quite emotional and difficult for older individuals, though the benefits may be great.
Some downsizing strategies for seniors include:
Recognize you can’t take everything. When you are moving into a smaller dwelling, realize that you will need to shed a few belongings. Think about what you will want to have in your new home, and about the items that you enjoy seeing every day. If you have items around your home that you plan to pass on to someone else, give them to the recipient now. Getting rid of clutter is a liberating experience that makes maintaining your home, and life in general, much simpler.
Start small. Don’t try to jump in with both feet when downsizing your life; this may make you anxious and sad. Instead, start small. Begin with one area of your home or life- such as clearing clutter or consolidating your bank accounts. These accomplishments will help motivate you toward the next downsizing task- and over time, it will become less painful and more liberating.
Make a list. Lists not only help to keep you on-task, but there is a sense of achievement that comes from being able to cross things off. Make a list of all the chores, errands, and tasks ahead of you, including very small goals. This will provide you with a blueprint for your downsizing projects, while also helping to keep you motivated with a tangible measure of your progress.
Have a plan. Take the time that you need to come up with a viable working plan. Use monthly, weekly, and daily goals to get you where you need to be when planning to move or significantly downsize. Gather materials that you will need- boxes, totes, garbage bags, extra hands- and break tasks down so that you are gradually able to meet your deadline.
Enlist some help. Be thoughtful about who you ask to help you with your downsizing projects. If you have sentimental items to go through, it may not be the best time to ask others to assist. Plan private time to go through intimate items and to make the tough decisions regarding what to let go of. Family members can assist older people get rid of unneeded items by allowing time to talk about the memories and sentimentality associated with these belongings; this can help seniors feel better about giving these things up.
Downsizing is the perfect way for anyone, especially seniors, to live more simply and enjoy a better quality of life. In addition to opening up more room to live life to its fullest, downsizing may increase cash-flow, cut-down on cleaning, and eliminate stress from everyday routines. Use these downsizing tips for seniors when making the move to a simpler, more carefree lifestyle!
Daniel Lofaso is the Community Outreach Manager for Lourdes Noreen Mckeen, a retirement and independent living facility in West Palm Beach, FL.