In the back of your mind, you have always hoped this day would never come. Yet here it is – you have to begin the process of downsizing. Maybe you have purchased a smaller retirement home in a warmer climate; maybe you are moving across town to an assisted living facility. In either case, it is not going to be easy.
As a senior, you have a lot of years and memories wrapped up in your current home. You also have many possessions that have taken decades to accumulate. At My Divine Concierge, we know how overwhelming downsizing can be for seniors. That is why one of the services we offer includes downsizing, packing, and moving.
We would love the opportunity to help you with this important stage in your life. In the meantime, here are five tips you might find helpful as you begin the downsizing process:
1. Go Slowly
Unless an emergency requires you move quickly, we recommend you go slowly and take your time. The labor involved in downsizing is both physically and emotionally exhausting. Moreover, as a senior, you might be limited in the amount of energy you have. Plan as far as you can so that you can take as much time as necessary. It is better to take six months and not overwork yourself than to wind up in the hospital after trying to complete the entire process in a week.
2. Start in Unused Rooms
You are downsizing because circumstances dictate you no longer need all the space in your current home. That means there are probably rooms in your home you no longer use. Those rooms are the best places to start your downsizing project. Why? Because these likely contain possessions that you are less attached to. By working through these rooms first, you will be slowly getting used to the idea of downsizing before you address more important rooms like the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. Good places to start include the basement, garage and attic space
3. Mark with Different Colors
When you take your time downsizing, it is very easy to forget some of the decisions you made early on in the process. One way around such memory lapses is to use different colored stickers to identify your possessions. For example, you might use green to mark boxes or individual items you intend to keep. You might use red for things you know will definitely be discarded. The different colors will not only help you remember, they will make it easy to identify property when moving day arrives.
4. One Room It Time
We have seen more than one client become overwhelmed by trying to do too many things at once. To avoid this, it is best to work with one room at a time. Let’s say, for example, you decide to begin working on an upstairs bedroom. Do not work on anything else until that bedroom is complete. A single-room focus helps to prevent distractions that can result in confusion and conflicting decisions.
5. Ask for Help
Are you the kind of person who feels uncomfortable asking others for help? That’s not a good thing when it comes to downsizing. Between the physical and emotional strain of the process, you need help. And there is no shame in asking for it. Needing help is part of being human.
My Divine Concierge can assist you with downsizing alongside your family members and friends. We offer a full range of service options that can provide you with as little or as much help as you need. From sorting through your possessions to packing, moving and unpacking, we can do it all.