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5 Downsizing Tips

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Many older adults choose to downsize their homes. By making the decision to move into a smaller space, they can gain freedom from burdensome cleaning and maintenance duties and often reduce their monthly expenses. Moving, however, is rarely easy for anyone. Here are a few tips to help you with the downsizing process.


1. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

A large home filled with possessions collected over decades requires weeks or months to downsize. People need time to decide what to keep, sell, donate, give away, or throw away. Only so much can be accomplished each day because these decisions can be emotionally exhausting. The rediscovery of interesting and sometimes forgotten items also leads to time spent reminiscing.

2. Start With What Must Go

Someone with a packed garage or basement who is moving to an apartment should empty out these areas first. Some items stored in these areas, like tools or furniture, might have value, and you'll want time to sell or donate them.

3. Create "Yes" and "No" Piles

When sorting items, it's common practice to make "yes", "no", and "maybe" piles. By eliminating the "maybe" pile, you'll make speedier decisions and keep the process moving forward. To overcome reluctance about sentimental items, ask yourself:

  • Is there room for this in my new home?
  • How many years have passed since I used this item?
  • What are the chances that I'll use this item in the future?

4. Turn Downsizing into a Bonding Experience

When children and grandchildren participate in sorting and packing, they may have the opportunity to hear stories about the older adult's life. Older adults might also learn that someone wants a specific item. This creates an opportunity to pass on family heirlooms.

5. Stay Positive

Leaving a home of many years can be upsetting. A positive mental attitude about the transition to smaller living quarters can help ease a person's fears. Moving will produce benefits, and an older adult could look forward to a new phase of life free of extra chores.

When downsizing occurs due to a decline in physical or mental ability, Home Instead Senior Care has resources to help people navigate the challenges of aging. We provide personal service at home to enable seniors to live with dignity and comfort.


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