Downsizing Tips for Seniors

Moving into a senior housing community or a senior living facility can bring plenty of changes. Two of the most important is deciding what you’ll bring with you and what you’ll leave behind. Most seniors need to downsize when they move. That means deciding what important belongings you’ll keep and how you’ll handle what you’re leaving behind. Fortunately, you can find guidance for downsizing with an online search.

Downsizing can be difficult and emotional. However, if you plan ahead, you can prepare yourself and make the transition from your current home to a senior living environment easier. You can search online to find downsizing advice and ideas right now.

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Consider Your Available Space

When you move into a senior living facility, you’ll have a much smaller living space. You might go from a multi-room house into a one-bedroom apartment. You might share a living area with a roommate. You might have your own bedroom but share common spaces like a kitchen or living room with fellow seniors.

Therefore, it’s important to consider how much space you’ll have available when you first begin to think about downsizing. It’s very likely that not all of your belongings and furniture will fit in your new home. Plus, it’s a good idea to understand exactly what you can bring with you, as well as what kinds of items you might need.

Consider the following factors when you’re planning what to move to your new home.

The Available Amenities

What does your new home already have? Will you need to bring any appliances or furniture? Will healthcare equipment be provided for you or do you need your own? Do you want any special amenities from home, like security features or special pieces of furniture?

The Size of Your Living Space

How much room will you have for your belongings? You might have multiple rooms to fill, or be dividing the space with another senior. As such, it’s important to measure the space, so you know what will fit and what won’t.

Your Lifestyle Habits

If you have certain hobbies, daily activities, and items that you rely on, you’ll want to incorporate them into your new living space. Even if you’re downsizing dramatically, it’s a good idea to keep items that help your routine and your usual habits.

Make Decisions With a “Yes or No” System

Once you’ve determined how much you’re able to bring with you, it’s time to begin packing. Packing requires sorting through your belongings to decide what goes and what stays.

This is one of the most difficult steps of downsizing. Since you’ll be going through years and years of belongings, it can be a very emotional process. However, it’s important that you simplify this step as much as possible to save time and energy, and make decisions efficiently.

You should sort through your belongings with a “Yes or No” system. When you assess each item, put it in a “Yes” pile if you’re keeping it or a “No” pile if you aren’t. Don’t allow yourself to create a “Maybe” pile, as this can end up growing in size, delaying your progress, and becoming overwhelming.

If you’re struggling to decide whether an item should be kept, ask yourself yes or no questions. You use qualifiers like, “Have I worn this in the last year?” or “Have I used this item in the last few months?” You don’t want to convince yourself that you’ll use items you haven’t touched in a long time in your new home. The goal is to simplify your life and eliminate what you aren’t using.

Hire Some Help

Trying to sort through everything you own isn’t easy. As an older adult, it’s even harder than it was when you moved during your younger years. That’s why you should consider hiring some help.

There are actually movers and moving companies that specialize in helping seniors who are downsizing. Forget renting a moving truck and packing up your items, these specialty movers help you plan your move, pack your belongings, and take care of the physical act of moving for you. For instance, senior moving experts Gentle Transitions will take care of your downsizing process after you’ve sorted your items by boxing everything up and delivering it to your new home.

You can search online to find local movers who specialize in senior downsizing. You can also ask local organizations and senior groups if there are any highly recommended movers who can take the labor out of moving.

Store Important Items in a Storage Unit

If you’re struggling to get rid of your belongings, consider getting a storage unit. A storage unit is the perfect place to store items that you definitely won’t use everyday but are too sentimental or important to get rid of.

There are plenty of storage facilities of differing sizes around the country. You can rent a storage unit for a few months, a few years, or even longer – it’s entirely up to you. For a small monthly fee, you’ll pay to keep your belongings secured in a storage unit that suits your needs. You can rent a storage unit that’ll hold oversized furniture or you can opt for a smaller unit that keeps a few important items. Storage units offer flexible storage options. Moreover, you can visit the facility any time if you need access to your items.

Storage units are great for heirloom items or precious belongings. They’re safe, which means you can have peace of mind knowing that your items won’t be at risk of getting stolen or damaged. They’re also climate controlled in many cases, which ensures your items aren’t exposed to extreme temperatures.

Start the Downsizing Process Early

Preparing to move into a new living space is emotional, challenging, and stressful. And if you’re a senior who also needs to downsize during the moving process, it can be even more difficult. Fortunately, if you take the time to prepare and go through the downsizing process efficiently, you can make it smoother.

You can search online for help with downsizing. If you need help sorting your belongings, making a downsizing plan, or even handling the physical move, you can find organizations and companies that offer these services online. Search to see what organizations in your area can help with senior downsizing, and you can lighten your own workload.


Heather Fishel