Downsizing is often a necessary experience for seniors, but it can be an emotional one, too. Having to move from the place you called home for many years is never easy, and knowing that you’ll need to go through your belongings and decide what to take and what to go without can be extremely difficult. In fact, going through this process can lead to feelings of sadness, depression, and anxiety.
One of the best ways to keep those feelings from becoming overwhelming is to be prepared. That means getting organized and taking charge of the downsizing experience so that you can feel in control, which is an important tool in coping with a major life change. Make packing lists, enlist help from friends and family, and find the right movers for your big day.
Here are a few more of the best tips on how to make downsizing go as smoothly as possible.
Make a plan
For many seniors, the decision to downsize comes after retirement, when they’re thinking about the next phase of life. Living in a home with stairs or a big yard just doesn’t seem feasible anymore, so they choose to move into a smaller place and keep their health a priority. If this is on your mind, as well, think about the type of home you want and what will fit your needs. You may decide to go with a townhome so you can benefit from having a neighborhood association that takes care of your yard work, or you might choose a home that’s closer to town or in the proximity of your family. Whatever you need in a new place, write it down and go over it with your realtor so you can ensure you don’t forget about anything.
Have a yard sale
Going through your belongings to choose what to keep and what to give up is a difficult process, and it can be a very emotional one. However, if you have a yard sale for the items you know you don’t need, you can make a little extra cash for the move and have some fun at the same time. Begin the process by going through one room at a time and making areas for items you want to keep, items you want to sell, and items you want to donate or give to family members. It might be a good idea to actually have some family with you when you’re doing this, as they’ll be an extra pair of hands and can go through treasured family heirlooms and memorabilia.
Once you know what you’ll be selling, price each item and set up tables and racks the night before you want to have the sale. Make up some signs to place around the neighborhood to let everyone know where the sale will be and when. Most yard sale-goers start pretty early in the morning, so make sure you have everything all ready to go, and don’t forget to have some cash on hand for making change!
Staying organized can help you feel in control even during a pretty emotionally overwhelming and chaotic time. Making a move after living in the same home for many years is a big change that can bring about anxiety and stress; making lists and packing smart can help prevent those feelings.
Get plenty of boxes and packing material so you’ll have everything on hand when the time comes, and make packing lists for each box to tape onto the outside. This way, you’ll be able to find anything you need right away. Don’t forget to leave one box aside for last-minute items, such as toiletries, medicines, and cleaning supplies.
Remember that moving is a big job, so you’ll want to find the right people to help you out on your big day. Do some research online to find the perfect movers, and don’t forget to ask for help from your loved ones if you need it. Not only can they help with the physical aspect of the move, they can also support you during this difficult time.