Downsizing requires special attention and work. This is a special task for seniors. Having a check-list is a necessity while downsizing before moving into your new home at a senior living. For this emotional task, we have compiled important tips for downsizing when moving to senior living.
1. Start early
The process of compiling things and downsizing is overwhelming and may take more time than usual. This is why it is essential to start this process earlier than later so that you can give yourself time when you feel swamped by all the emotions.
Starting early can give you more time to process the emotions and can help you make better decisions on how the downsizing should work. It will give you a chance to spend time with every item in the household such as old photos, clothes that bring memories or your living space where you have spent all your time.
2. Make a plan
In advance, see what days you will have more time, and make those days available for the productive and busier tasks such as emptying the kitchen. Plan in advance of your moving date and create deadlines for yourself so that you can keep track of your time.
Make a list of the items that will be needed and the items that will not. Make a list of the things that can be donated or that someone might want. Make a list of the items that you want to take along and make a mind-map as to where you will place them in your new room.
3. Start with non-emotional belongings
Starting with emotional belongings can be hard. It can bring back memories which can make the process of downsizing hard and tough. It is easier if you start with items that do not have emotional value to it.
First determine if you need it or not, typically most non-emotional items are not needed and can be donated or given away.
4. Visit the new home frequently
Planning for your new space is essential so make sure you plan a few visits prior to your move in date. Get dimensions of your new space and see what items will fit where. You do not want to make the mistake of taking items that will not fit. Ask the new senior living community what items you can bring along.
Going to your new home will help you visualize where you want to put your items and how they will look. Moreover, it will give you a sense of belongingness to the new place.
5. Make ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ piles only
Avoid making ‘maybe’ piles. This will only prolong your process and create a hindrance. Make clear piles and put things into these piles. Make donate, give away and ‘No’ piles everyday. It is easier to let go of things slowly than suddenly all at once.
Once you have visited the new home a few times, you will know what items to definitely get rid of such as your cooking utensils. It will definitely be hard to let go of these items but, if you complete the downsizing on your deadline, it will be easier to work through.
6. What is the purpose of every item?
This question should be asked before putting any item in the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ pile. You should know what the purpose was and if you will have that purpose in your senior living community or not.
For example the purpose of cooking utensils is to make food, however, you will not be cooking once you have moved in. Thus, there is no need for these items so they can go in the ‘No’ pile.
Another way to ask the same question is to ask “does this item bring me joy?”. This question should be asked for the items in the ‘Yes’ pile only to bring a sense of clarity to what item will or will not be needed.
7. Maintain positivity
Moving into a new house can quickly become overburden sometimes. Maintaining a positive attitude is important and crucial to the process. Asking a loved one’s help and talking to them regularly can help you remain positive through the process. You need to focus on the new home and how it will bring you joy and new friendships. Think about what will be vital to you in the next 5 years. This makes the process easier because you need peace of mind and comfort in the next 5 years, which will come from moving into a senior living community.
8. Stick to deadlines
Lastly, stick to deadlines. This is why starting early is important. Whatever is laid out in the planning, stick to it and work through it. Delaying the process will only create a difficult road ahead for you.