A senior couple reads the newspaper together.
A senior couple reads the newspaper together.
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How to Downsize: A Downsizing Guide for Seniors

A senior couple packing to move to a senior living facility.

How to Downsize: A Downsizing Guide for Seniors

September 23rd, 2020

If you’re like most older adults, you know that there will eventually be a time where you have to downsize your home and move — either into a senior living community, into your child’s and grandchildren’s home or to a smaller residence. The whole idea of moving can feel stressful on both an emotional and physical level, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you.

In fact, this transition should be an exciting one, where you can look forward to life with less belongings and more time to do what you love! To help, Garden Plaza of Florissant has put together a few tips to help make the downsizing and decluttering process easier.

Downsizing Home Checklist for a Smooth Transition to Senior Living

If you’re not sure how to get the downsizing process started, follow this handy checklist that offers 7 steps you should take:

  1. Evaluate your reason for downsizing.

    Talk with your partner or a child about the pros and cons of downsizing. Just discussing it can help give you a sense of closure for this chapter of your life. A clear goal can also relieve any stress or frustration you may be feeling. Some of the reasons you may want to downsize include:

    • Maintenance – A senior living community or moving in with your adult children means no more housework, yard work, home repairs and meal preparation when they become a strain.

    • Living costs – With retirement nearing, cutting costs may become important. Reducing housing costs such as house payments and utility bills is an easy way to do that.

    • Health problems – If you have reduced abilities or impairments, moving to a senior living community can provide the amenities you need that you may not be able to afford on your own or implement in your current home.

  2. Start as soon as you can.

    Downsizing and decluttering will undoubtedly take longer than you expect. Going through your entire home means coming across items that hold deep meaning for you, and reminiscing can take time. Don’t try to tackle the whole house in a weekend, as that can exacerbate emotions and make the process more difficult. Instead, aim for a more sensible timeline like a couple of weeks to a month.

  3. Take it one room at a time.

    Going room-by-room can help to keep the process slow and steady. This way, you get to give each item the attention it needs. You can focus on it long enough to make a decision that you can feel good about.

  4. Create a system that works for you.

    With a system in place, it will become easier to decide what to keep, throw away, give away and sell. It can also help reduce the emotional connection to many items. This can be as simple as creating Give Away, Throw Away and Keep piles or as intricate as implementing the Marie Kondo method.

  5. Think about your new space.

    Downsizing means moving to a home with less square footage and fewer rooms than your previous home. That means that not everything you’ve accumulated can fit. One way to decide what you’re keeping and what you’re throwing away is to think about where things will go in your new home. Think about:

    • Amenities, including physical needs and security measures

    • Space

    • What you enjoy doing with your time

    • Inventory, including personal documents that can be stored digitally and oversized items

       

  6. Consider getting help.

    This can be the volunteered help of friends, family or neighbors or the hiring of a professional organizer. You may also want to think about a storage space for the items you want to keep but don’t have the space for.

  7. Try to keep a positive outlook.

    Downsizing doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it often means a new adventure. If you’re moving to a smaller home, that can mean more time for the things you want to do, like travel; Moving in with an adult child means more time with family and enjoying your grandkids as they grow; And moving to a senior living community means new relationships and exciting activities to explore.

Experience a Vibrant Life with Garden Plaza of Florissant

At Garden Plaza of Florissant, we understand your home is something that’s important to you. That’s why we offer a variety of floorplans to choose from, so you can choose the space that’s right for you and your partner. And every apartment comes unfurnished, so you can make it the home you want. You also won’t have to worry about needing space for cleaning supplies and yard equipment, as Garden Plaza offers a maintenance-free lifestyle, handling all those chores for you.

Want to learn more about how Garden Plaza helps you with your next chapter? Contact our team today!

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