Downsizing into a smaller space makes plenty of sense for many seniors. There’s less upkeep and fewer responsibilities, and residents of independent living communities generally gain access to incredible lifestyle amenities that make retirement a true reward.
Even so, fitting a lifetime of memories and belongings into a smaller space may be easier said than done.
These tips on downsizing for seniors make the big project more approachable, so you can skip the worry and move on to an exciting new stage of life.
Set a Reasonable Pace
One of the biggest obstacles of downsizing for seniors is the physical toll it takes. Moving is back-breaking work, and sorting through room after room can be exhausting. One of the first steps to a successful move is being realistic about your physical abilities. If you get worn out after an hour or two of work, take a break. If possible, give yourself at least a month or two to work your way through your home to sort, organize and pack your belongings. Create realistic goals and tackle a little bit at a time, so you can avoid getting physically or emotionally overwhelmed.
Be Conscious of Your New Living Space
As you consider what you’ll keep and what you should donate or give away, think about your new home and what you’ll have room for there. Think about the overall square footage and how your furniture will fit. That may mean repurposing furniture into a different room, such as creating a guest room and office combination, or getting rid of furniture you no longer need. At Timber Ridge at Talus, each thoughtfully designed independent living floor plan offers ample storage, including spacious walk-in closets in the bedrooms and entry closets for added space. That means easier downsizing for seniors who are worried about where to store their things.
Find a Method That Works for You
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to downsizing for seniors. You might prefer to tackle one room at a time so you can methodically prepare your home for packing and moving. Or you might find it more helpful to go from room to room sorting like items, such as all the linens. This approach allows you to focus on a single category and eliminate duplicates without trying to remember what you already boxed in another part of the house.
A third option is to create piles of the things you want to keep, donate, sell, give away or trash. You can make these piles in each room, or if space allows, you might designate certain areas of the house where you’ll collect everything you want to get rid of one way or the other, so you can leave only the things you want to keep in rooms ready for packing. Another idea is using color-coded stickers to mark items to keep or discard, then removing all items with the same color sticker from your home at once.
Get Creative to Keep Treasures Close
Even when you know you won’t have the room, some possessions are harder than others to let go. Fortunately, there are many downsizing tips that let you hang on to those precious belongings. If you have a prized collection that’s too big for your new home, you might pick a few favorite pieces and before you give them away or sell them, take photographs of the rest that you can display in frames on the wall or in a photo album. Gifting heirlooms and other useful items to your family members and loved ones is another way to cut back on your excess belongings while making a meaningful gesture.
Give Yourself Some Grace
The act of moving is a big job at any stage of life, but downsizing for seniors can be especially poignant because there are so many memories tied up in a house full of belongings. Give yourself the time to process all your feelings, acknowledge and work through your anxiety. Also avoid the temptation to rush through sorting and packing. Invite family members over to help share the workload and enjoy reminiscing together.
If you’re considering downsizing, Timber Ridge of Talus may be the ideal home for you. Contact us to arrange a personal tour and learn more about the lifestyle, superior hospitality and breathtaking views that make this community unlike any other.