Planning a move is a daunting task for the most able person and making the decision to move out of your home is never an easy one. This is especially difficult for seniors who have often lived the in the same place for many, many years and have a lifetime of memories connected to it. Even when you know that downsizing your home and moving to a smaller apartment or a retirement community is a good idea, facing the chore of going through your belongings and sorting through a lifetime of memories can make the process seem completely overwhelming.
That said, it’s important to recognize when it’s time to consider a new living situation. Perhaps your current home has a steep staircase leading to the washing machine and dryer in the basement, making it difficult and dangerous for you to do the laundry. Maybe you’re having a hard time keeping up with household duties like vacuuming or cleaning the bathrooms due to mobility issues. Or maybe your neighbors and support group have moved away, leaving you isolated in your home.
Regardless of the reasons you have for moving, downsizing will undoubtedly be an emotional task that could bring some physical challenges as well. However, downsizing doesn’t have to be looked negatively. Think about all the new, wonderful experiences that await you in your new residence!
As you prepare for your move, there are a few downsizing home tips for seniors you should keep in mind as you begin the process of sorting through your belongings:
Recognize that you can’t move everything. The first step in downsizing for seniors is to be able to recognize that all of your belongings won’t fit in your new living space. This is a great time to donate old and unused items to your local Church or Goodwill as well as pass heirlooms off to your adult children and their families.
Start small. As soon as you know that a move is in your imminent future, start the task of sorting through your belongings bit by bit. At the very least, plan to start the process a week before the move. Don’t attempt to go through every room in your home in one day.
Create lists to stay organized. Having a list of things to do with a timeline will help keep you on task. You can also make lists of the things you know you want to keep, things to give to family members, and things you can donate or sell.
Have a plan. If you are able to get a floor plan of your new living space, this will help you know what furniture you can bring along and how much storage space you’ll have access to. You can figure out where your belongings will be placed ahead of time to make the moving day less stressful for everyone.
Enlist help. Now is the time to contact a company that provides senior relocation services or senior downsizing services. These companies specialize in moving the elderly and provide experienced professionals who will help streamline the entire moving process from start to finish. They can also help with selling or donating the items not going to family members or going with you to your new home.
When you’re ready to downsize and simplify your life, consider Lourdes-Noreen McKeen, an active continuing care community in West Palm Beach, Florida. Rest easy knowing that your future needs will be taken care of while you enjoy new friends and a comfortable and vibrant lifestyle.