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5 Ways Seniors Can Simplify Downsizing

5 Ways Seniors Can Simplify Downsizing

If you’re starting to consider downsizing, chances are you’re feeling overwhelmed, hesitant and, quite frankly… scared. For most of us, it’s difficult to imagine even going through all the boxes of belongings we’ve collected in the attic, closets and basement over the years, let alone moving it all to a smaller home.

Don’t get discouraged! Downsizing has plenty of perks that outweigh the inconveniences. Below are a few tips to help make the downsizing process easier.

1. Plan Your Move

Like most projects, the key to a smooth execution is planning. If you’ve already decided where you will be moving, obtain a floor plan of your new home. The floor plan will give you a good idea of how much space you will have. Measure your furniture and see if it will still fit comfortably in each room. Compare the storage places and set goals. For example, if the attic is 40% smaller than your current attic set a goal to get rid of at least 40% what’s consuming your closet now.


2. Start Sorting

The less you’ll have to move, the easy the move will be. Create bins for items you want to keep, items you want to donate and items you want to pitch. A good place to start is with items that you haven’t used in a while as those are likely to be items you can get rid of.

If your children still have their belongings in your home (yes, we’re talking about the boxes of high school yearbooks and baseball cards!) ask them to come get them. While they are there, ask them if they would like anything else in the house. Oftentimes, knowing that children or grandchildren will get use out of an item will help you detach yourself from it.


 3. Ask for Help

Chances are that once you’ve organized your belongings, you’ll find that you have quite a few items to get rid of. Don’t hesitate to ask your children, friends and family to help you pack and/or haul items to a donation center.Some organizations, such as the Vietnam Veterans of America, will come directly to your home to pick up donations. You can learn more or schedule an appointment by visiting www.pickupplease.com.

 Also, consider holding a yard sale or estate sale to limit the amount of stuff that needs hauled away. If you haven’t yet sold your home, ask your real estate agent about incorporating an estate sale into an open house.


 4. Stop Shopping

Yes it’s a great price, but do you need it? The baby-boomer generation has a reputation for stocking their homes with items that they don’t necessarily need. It can be hard to resist a sale item, but if you don’t have an immediately use for it, don’t buy it.


5. Be Patient and Positive

This transition can be both physically and emotionally draining. Take your time and set realistic goals that won’t burn you out. Reward yourself and your partner every time you complete a goal by going out for dinner or a movie.

Keep in mind that while the goal is to decrease the amount of stuff you have, it is okay to keep items that have extreme sentimental value to you. You and your partner are going to experience a lot of emotions during this time, so be patient and understanding with each other.