Many seniors today seek ways to remain as independent as possible as they age. You might think that staying in your current home is the best option, plus, the thought of moving may present emotional or stressful feelings. After all, it’s not easy to move from the home where you’ve spent a lifetime making memories.
However, downsizing offers some definite benefits to seniors. Think about the size of your home; are there rooms that have basically become storage spaces, that you no longer even go into anymore? Are the stairs becoming difficult to climb because of a painful knee or hip? The indoor and outdoor maintenance can also start to become quite a burden, not to mention the financial impact owning a large home can have. For instance, if big-ticket repairs like a new roof or driveway are needed soon, those costs can quickly add up.
The above are all great reasons to consider downsizing your home and moving to a senior living community, where you’ll enjoy easy, maintenance-free living with more time to do all the things you find most important. In fact, many seniors experience a boost in their overall health and reduced stress levels after they move.
Downsizing for Seniors: 10 Tips for a Successful Moving Day
After making the decision that downsizing your home is the right move for you, it’s important to keep in mind all your current belongings might not be able to fit in your new, smaller space. Here are ten downsizing tips to keep in mind as you plan your move:
Start preparing as early as possible. Start planning for your move by getting a jump on sorting through your belongings as soon as you know downsizing is in your future. Go through storage spaces like the closets, attic or basement, setting aside the items you no longer want or need as you go.
Don’t put off the decision-making process. Going through your belongings and making decisions can be a difficult process since we attach memories to so many of our items. However, start deciding where things will go immediately rather than putting it off for later. Remember, you’ll be creating many more great memories in your new home.
Decide where unneeded or unwanted belongings will go. Maybe your daughter has always coveted your handmade quilt, or your son would like to turn your photo albums into digital copies for you. As you make those tough decisions about your belongings, start designating items to your loved ones. Don’t forget about charitable donation opportunities!
Make lists. Stay organized throughout this hectic time by writing down lists- as many lists as you need! For instance, make lists of the rooms you still need to sort through, or things you need to do, like canceling your utilities and transferring your mail, as well as things to pack.
Create a moving plan. Prepare for your moving day by creating a game plan; if you can get a floorplan of your new living space, you’ll have a great idea of how much of your furniture and belongings will be able to make the move with you. And, you’ll also be able to provide better directions to your movers – they’ll know exactly where items will get placed in your new home.
Use up those perishables. Waste not, want not! Start using up your perishable items in the weeks before your moving day so you’ll have less to pack – and aren’t wasting perfectly good food.
Clean as you go. Keeping things tidy as you pack up your home alleviates some of the stress of having to clean the entire house right before your moving day. As you clear out rooms, dust and run the vacuum to keep things clean and organized.
Enlist your helpers. Moving is not an easy process for even the most able-bodied individuals, and there’s no shame in asking for help making decisions about your belongings and getting everything packed up for your move. Don’t assume you’ll be able to tackle this major feat alone.
Put together a first night box. Pack a box full of items like toiletries, paper products, linens, any prescription medications and some snacks to make your first night in your new accommodations as comfortable as possible.
Take your time. Downsizing a home is not an easy task. Give yourself plenty of time to go through your belongings, make the right decisions, and get everything safely packed for your move.
Experience Moments of Joy at Franciscan Ministries Senior Living Communities