For many people, moving out of the home they’ve spent many years making memories in can present an emotional or stressful situation. Packing up all your belongings, hiring movers, and setting up a new home can feel like a never-ending process that you just don’t have the energy to face.
However, downsizing your home actually offers a variety of great benefits to seniors! For example, perhaps your home has started to outgrow you; there may be rooms in your house that simply never get used anymore, and the upkeep takes a lot of your free time. Perhaps you have a large yard that requires time-consuming weekly or daily maintenance. Plus, you can’t forget about the financial benefits of downsizing. If big ticket repairs like a new roof or furnace are in your near future, those costs can add up quickly. Living in your current home always seems to get more expensive.
These are all great reasons to consider downsizing your home and moving to a senior living community, where you’ll enjoy maintenance-free living with plenty of free time for yourself. Most seniors find their stress levels decrease dramatically and their health actually improves after they move!
Once you’ve decided that downsizing your home is the right decision for you, it’s important to recognize that all of your current belongings might not be able to come with you to your new, smaller space. Here are 10 downsizing tips to keep in mind as you begin to plan your move:
1) Create a moving plan. If you can get a floorplan of your new living space, you’ll have a great idea of how much of your furniture and belongings will be able to make the move with you. Prepare for your moving day by creating a game plan and making sure the movers know what items need to go where.
2) Make lists. Lists help keep you organized throughout this hectic time. Make lists of the rooms you still need to sort through; things to do, like cancelling your utilities and transferring your mail; and things to pack.
3) Get started early. As soon as you think that downsizing your home is in the near future, go ahead and start sorting through your belongings. Start in storage spaces like the closets, attic and basement, setting aside the items you no longer want or need as you go.
4) Don’t put off making decisions. As you go through your belongings, start making decisions immediately rather than setting things aside for later. This can be a difficult process since we attach memories to so many of our belongings. However, it’s important to remember that you’ll have the chance to make many more great memories in your new home, too.
5) Designate unneeded items to family, friends or charity. As you make those tough decisions about your belongings, start designating items to your loved ones. Maybe your daughter has always coveted your wedding china, or your son would like to turn your photo albums into digital copies for you. Don’t forget about charitable donation opportunities!
6) Recruit some helpers. There’s no shame in asking for help making decisions about your belongings and getting everything packed up and ready for your move. You shouldn’t think you’ll be able to tackle this job alone; moving is not an easy process for even the most able-bodied individuals!
7) Waste not, want not. Start using up your perishable items in the weeks before your moving day. This way, you’ll have less to pack and can ensure you aren’t wasting anything.
8) Keep things tidy. As you clear out rooms, dust and run the vacuum to keep things clean and organized. Cleaning as you go alleviates some of the stress of having to clean the entire house right before your moving day.
9) Prepare a “first night” box. Make your first night in your new accommodations as comfortable as possible by packing a box full of items like toiletries, paper products, linens, any prescription medications, and some snacks.
10) Don’t rush it. Downsizing your home is not an easy task. Give yourself plenty of time to go through your belongings, make the right decisions, and get everything safely packed for your move.
Learn more about the independent living options at Advent Christian Village. When you’re ready to downsize your home, we invite you to come for a tour to experience why our unique community may be the perfect option for you. Contact us today for more information.