Downsizing can be a difficult process for seniors. They may have been living in their home for many years and have accumulated a lot of belongings. In addition, they may feel overwhelmed by the thought of downsizing and unsure of where to start. These 4 simple steps can help make the downsizing process a little easier.
1. Start by sorting through your belongings and deciding what you want to keep.
Start by sorting through your belongings and deciding what you want to keep. This can be a difficult process, but it's important to be honest with yourself about what you really need. If you're not sure whether or not to keep something, ask yourself if you've used it in the past year. If the answer is no, then you probably don't need to keep it. Giving away cherished belongings to friends or family may make it easier to let go of some items knowing it will go to someone who will appreciate it.
2. Donate or sell items that you don't want or need anymore.
Donating or selling unwanted items is a great way to downsize your belongings while also helping others. There are many charities that will accept donations of gently used clothing, furniture, and household items. You can also sell items online or at garage sales. If you find it is difficult to give up a particular item, consider taking a picture of it instead of keeping the item itself. Often it is the memory attached to an item that makes it important to us and a picture can help keep the memory alive instead of packing an item you may not actually need or use.
3. Pack up what's left and store it somewhere safe.
Packing up your belongings can be time-consuming, but it's important to take the time to pack things appropriately. Wrap fragile items so you don’t break things you will need and label each box with its contents and the room it should be stored in. This will make it easier to find items when you need them and will prevent you from having to unpack and repack boxes unnecessarily. If possible, try to store boxes in a self-storage unit or in a friend or family member's home until you are ready to make the move.
4. Take your time when downsizing and don't rush through the process.
Downsizing can be an and emotional process. Try to give yourself enough time to go through your belongings and make decisions about what to keep and what to let go of. If you're not sure what to do with an item set it aside and come back to it later, there is no need to dwell on it. If you're feeling overwhelmed, take a break or ask for help from friends or family members. Remember, downsizing is an opportunity to simplify your life and get rid of things that are no longer serving you. Follow these simple tips and soon enough, you'll be finished and will be able to enjoy your new home!
Do you have any other tips for downsizing? Share them in the comments below!
Ty Strahl is the Spokane areas leading Certified Senior Advisor (CSA). Her job is to help navigate the many aspects of aging and to help seniors who are in transition to find the right solutions for their individual needs.