Many seniors know that there will come a time that they need to go through the process of downsizing either to cut costs, simplify their lifestyle, deal with medical needs, or to be closer to their children. It’s usually a tolling and stressful process both physically and emotionally. However, it doesn’t need to become overwhelming. Here are some tips to make the process a lot easier.
Senior downsizing is an inevitable part of life for many. Most seniors are aware that a day will come when they will need to downsize, either to cut costs, simply their lifestyle, get closer to their grand kids, or to deal with their medical needs. It’s often a tolling and stressful process – both physically and emotionally. However, it does not need to be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to make downsizing easier.
Tips For Simpler Senior Downsizing
Spend a lot of time in this phase because it will always take much longer than expected. Take as much time as you can and don’t sort through your things in a rush by just spending a single weekend, or worse, just one day. A few weeks to a month is a much more realistic timeline. Deal with one room at a time and make sure to take breaks.
If you are helping your parents move, here are some tips on how to be more efficient and supportive to your loved ones as they go through these major life event. Listed below are downsizing tips to make the process easier and less stressful.
Tips To Help Seniors Downsize
- If you have spare time and your parent is willing, you can start decluttering even before a move is imminent. Decluttering at least 1 year before an actual move is a good idea.
- Shred confidential documents that you no longer need, throw away outdated food, or give away items that you no longer need.
- Ask a tax person about the records that you need to keep.
- Don’t stop decluttering until you begin sorting and packing for your move.
- Gather and keep important document.
- Keep the sorting and packing activities to two hours at most.
A lot of people equate purchasing a bigger home to moving up in life. But that’s not true. Many American families have a lot of opportunity for downsizing their houses without the need to cramp up their style.
Think about the numbers. The average size of a new single family house is almost 2,500 square feet. You might think that it’s not all that big until you find out how big homes are in the past. According to history books, the average size of a home back in 1975 was nearly 1,000 square feet less than the average size of homes these days. Plus, the families were way bigger back then. If you consider those standards, then people these days are definitely living large.
Some people think that downsizing is a step down. But if you look at it closely, you’ll see that it comes with several benefits like getting rid of clutter, saving time, and money, too. Professional organizers say that downsizing could very well be the fresh start that you and your family have been wanted to have.
Are your parents moving in with you, into an assisted living facility or perhaps into a smaller home or apartment? Whatever the situation is and wherever they plan to relocate, it’s likely that they’re moving to a smaller space. If that’s the case then they have to downsize. For some, senior downsizing may sound negative, but it actually offers several benefits like having a simpler life, getting documents and other paperwork in proper order, and the chance to see the next generation to enjoy the heirlooms.
Even if your parents are willing and ready to downsize, senior relocating and downsizing can be an overwhelming experience. Here are some downsizing tips from professional organizers.
If you are busy with your career and your family life, helping your parents with senior relocating or senior downsizing can be very stressful. It can be tempting to find ways to get it done right away by taking the tough love approach. However, since you’re the adult child who’s been tasked to help out, you have to think about the feelings of your parents before you deal with the logistics.
Downsizing and Moving Tips
You need to convince your parents that they need to clean out and downsize their possessions. However, you need to do this carefully. You should position cleaning as a collaborative effort rather than as an order so that they won’t feel attacked. Use gentle words and make senior downsizing and decluttering sound like it’s a fun process.
Now is the perfect time to talk about the future living arrangements. Even though your parent may still want to continue being independent and don’t like the idea of moving to a smaller house, this decision may be the best way to make him live longer and independently. Additionally, downsizing offers several financial benefits.
You need to be realistic when it comes to downsizing your home. You have to know how much available space you have in your new home. This will help you decide who much you’ll be able to use for storage. Create a list of items that you need to keep and begin there. You should be committed in retaining only the most used items so you can save as much space as possible. You always have the option to give out sentimental items or non-essential items to your friends or relatives.
Home organizing experts said, use wall mounted shelves for your special decorative or ornamental items. If you have lots of them but not enough space, your home can easily be filled with these items. To avoid that, you can arrange your personal treasures on a rotating basis over a few months.
When you reduce clutter and move into a much smaller home to have a simpler daily living, the process is referred to as downsizing.
Downsizing offers several benefits including:
- Reduced real estate costs
- Reduced utility costs
- Less home maintenance
- More free time for hobbies and travel
During the downsizing process, a senior may decide to transfer to a retirement community. In other cases, family members and caregivers help in downsizing to prepare to move into a long term care or assisted living community.
The services of senior move managers, whose work involve helping clients unclutter their homes and move, range from $40 to $125 per hour.
For some people, retirement downsizing does not involve long-planned move to a lavish condo or going through a lifetime of memorabilia and belongings that they accumulated over the past 20 years. Instead, the downsizing came unexpectedly and suddenly perhaps due to an illness, job loss, or some major personal or financial issue.
Many homeowners try to go through the tedious process of an emergency downsize on their own. But there is a growing number of people who are getting the assistance of experts in home organizing.