Tips for managing the process of downsizing your home
The need to downsize to a smaller home is a common challenge for many older adults for a variety of reasons. Maybe the yard is too much to handle or the stairs are just too dangerous.
Chances are, you’ve been in your home for a long time. For some folks, over 50 years! It’s amazing (and sometimes overwhelming) how much “stuff” we can collect. Things we don’t think we can part with, things we don’t know how to part with, and things we don’t know why we bought in the first place.
The idea of packing all the boxes and cleaning out all the closets can feel overwhelming. So, we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you organize your thoughts before you organize your space.
Make a list of all the areas and rooms in your house. This will provide an outline of the places you plan to tackle as you downsize your home. Place a date beside each space/room and set a goal of when you will start and complete each task.
When you make the move to a more manageable home, how do you decide what comes with you? And what about all the things that won’t make the cut?
As you clean out your space, it’s good to use the following five categories to organize your items. You’ll find that almost anything can be placed in one of them and it will help you tackle each area with the same decisiveness:
Give to Family/Friends
And remember that beyond the functional needs, you should make your new home a warm place by surrounding yourself with the things that bring back happy memories. It could be the clock that was given to you on your 50th wedding anniversary or the painting from the den. Anything that makes your new space feel like home.
Research organizations in your area that take donations, haul off items, or sell/resale items. These experts will be able to give you additional information on how to find new homes for items you are ready to part with.
Take time to process through the emotions you are feeling about parting with items. We can form strong attachments to items and finding them a new home can feel upsetting. It’s okay to feel sad about downsizing but look at it as an opportunity to offer someone else the same joy you felt by passing along unused items to new owners.
Ask for help. It’s easy to get stressed out over the move itself. How to box up what’s coming with you, load up the truck, unload the truck, set it all up in your new home… it’s a lot. There are people that can help you through this. By talking it over with family, friends, or the people at your new home, you’ll find you have support. There are several companies that do this every day and know just what you’re going through. By utilizing available resources, you’ll be able to relieve the stress of moving.