There are a number of reasons why people move during their senior years, from transitioning into a care facility to moving closer to family and friends. No matter the reason for their move, most seniors who relocate choose a smaller home for their post-retirement years.

Living in a smaller home frees up funds for travel and leisure, reduces the demands of house and yard work, and lets seniors retain their independence as mobility wanes. But there’s one big disadvantage of moving into a smaller home: Downsizing.

While downsizing is a great choice for seniors, it can also be a burdensome and emotionally draining task. However, there are a few tips you can follow to keep the process manageable.

Take Your Time

Your house holds a lifetime worth of belongings, and sorting through them will take much longer than a normal move would. Give yourself time to not only organize and decide what to save, but also to reminisce over unearthed keepsakes. Don’t expect to get through your entire house in a weekend; give yourself several weeks to a month so you can take it one room at a time and rest when it gets overwhelming.

 Pick an easy room to start with. By choosing a small space that’s not full of memories, you can ease into organizing belongings and build morale with small successes. The last thing you want is to dive head-first into your most cherished belongings and end up emotionally exhausted on day one.

Keep Your New Floor Plan in Mind

As you sort through your home, it’s a smart idea to keep the floor plan of your new house handy. When you can refer to its layout and dimensions, it’s easier to stay realistic about what furniture you’ll be able to fit.

You’ll also need to consider that some rooms you’re accustomed to having may not exist in your new house. If you have a garage full of stuff but no garage in your future home, you’re going to have to part with nearly everything stored there.

Skip the “Maybe” Pile

Everyone has done it: You start out with a “yes” pile, a “no” pile, and a “maybe” pile, and at the end of your day the “no” pile is empty and you have a ceiling-high stack of maybes. Waffling over what to keep is counterproductive, so skip the “maybe” pile and instead start by packing the things you definitely need to keep. Focus on your most-used items, while letting go of duplicates and anything you haven’t touched in the last year. Once you have the necessities boxed up, you can assess what’s left and how much more you’ll be able to fit in the new space.

Share the Wealth

If there are treasured belongings you can’t bear to sell or donate, offer them to family members. This lets you keep heirlooms in the family without overstuffing your home. If you have a large collection of something, pick your favorite item to keep and part with the rest. If saying goodbye is difficult, take photographs so you can look back fondly.

Bring in the Pros

When you’re moving as a senior, hiring professional help can save you time, stress, and potential injury. Recruit a professional packing crew to get your items securely into boxes so you can focus on sorting through belongings. For a greater level of assistance, consider hiring a senior move manager. Senior move managers are professional organizers who can help pare down your belongings, supervise packing, and coordinate movers. For seniors who want to make their move as manageable as possible, a senior move manager can be an invaluable resource.

Image via Unsplash by Roman Kraft
Author: Jim Vogel

Posted by Florida Realty Marketplace on


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