Downsizing Your Home: What You Should Know
For many, saying goodbye to a long-term home and moving away from all the memories created there can be an emotional or stressful time. However, downsizing a home can present many benefits for those seniors looking to live a more independent, carefree lifestyle.
Why should you consider downsizing your home? The first consideration should be the ability to recognize when a home no longer fits your needs. There may be rooms you no longer use, a large yard which requires time-consuming weekly maintenance, or the home utilities and repairs have simply become too much of a financial burden.
Fortunately for many, seniors are learning that less really is more when it comes to enjoying an active retirement lifestyle. Downsizing or moving into an independent living community can reduce stress and increase the time you have to do the things you enjoy most. Whether you pick up a new hobby, broaden your knowledge by taking some continuing education classes or simply spend more time with those who have shared interests, retirement communities can give you the independence you are seeking.
Downsizing Tips for Seniors
Once you have made the decision to downsize your home and start living a maintenance-free lifestyle, it’s time to start preparing for your move to an independent living community. Here are some downsizing tips to get you started:
- Budget plenty of time for yourself. Downsizing is not an overnight decision, nor is it a process you can tackle in just one day. Take the time to let the decision settle in before beginning to go through your home. Be sure to set time aside to properly sort the belongings you wish to keep from the items that are no longer needed.
- Create a personal moving plan. Make a list to help keep you organized for your move. If you have access to the floorplan of your new living space, you’ll have a better idea of how many belongings you will be able to take with you. Write out what steps you will need to take to safely get you and your belongings to your new home. This often includes soliciting the help of friends, family and neighbors.
- Pack small spaces first. As you begin to downsize your home, start small. According to statistics, we wear 20 percent of our clothes majority of the time. It makes sense to begin with smaller storage spaces like your closet, sorting the clothes that you have not worn in a long time out and making room for the clothes you’ll be keeping. Move on to other spaces like your linen closet, coat closet and attic after finishing the bedroom closet.
- Donate unwanted items. As you are packing, designate a box of useful items you can give to family, friends or a local charity. Consider handing down cherished items to your children such as china sets, meaningful ceramics or photo albums that may require more space than your new home offers.
- Enlist help from loved ones. Moving is a stressful process for anyone, and you shouldn’t feel guilty asking for help from family and friends. Have your loved ones over to share stories as you sort through your memories and declutter or ask them to help with boxes on moving day.
- Waste not, want not. Start using up perishable items in the days or weeks leading up to your move. This way, you will have less to pack and the food in your fridge and pantry does not go to waste.
- Keep it tidy. As you are going through rooms packing, take a few extra minutes to clean as you clear out the spaces. Dust or vacuum each room as you go rather than cleaning the entire home from top to bottom before you move.
- Fill a box of essentials. Avoid digging through boxes your first night in the new home by creating one box with all the essentials. Include toiletries such as your toothbrush, comb or brush, any contacts or denture solution you may need, bed linens and towels, paper plates and cutlery, as well as other items such as a spare set of clothes and some healthy snacks.
Enjoy a Vibrant, Independent Lifestyle with Pine Ridge of Garfield
Pine Ridge of Garfield in Clinton Township, Michigan, gives you the opportunity to live life on your own terms. Discover on-site services and activities that give you everything you need for socializing, learning, relaxing and growing. To learn more about life at Pine Ridge of Garfield, contact us today, or view our floor plans to start planning for downsizing your home.