Transitioning from your current home into a senior living community is an exciting step as you enter this next chapter of life. However, the moving process itself can be overwhelming and stressful, especially when it comes to downsizing.
Retirees may decide to downsize for various reasons, even if they aren’t moving into a senior living community. In fact, 51% of older adults made the decision to downsize to enjoy financial freedom and a maintenance-free lifestyle – not to mention simplifying their homes of clutter and unnecessary items.
Astral at Auburn provides purposeful senior living in Indiana, and our community is a place where life begins again! So why not enjoy your retirement years without the worries of home maintenance? We’re sharing our downsizing tips for seniors, whether you’re ready to make the move to senior living or simply want a refresh!
Before you make the decision to start the process of downsizing, ask yourself a few questions to ensure you’re ready to make this decision:
When the hassles of keeping up your house begin to infringe upon your lifestyle and time, it might be time to downsize. Things like stairs, outdated appliances, or multiple levels can become challenging as we get older; moving to a smaller space or senior living community can ensure you age safely and comfortably.
Downsizing can also simplify your lifestyle and reduce stress. “One study found that women who reported more clutter in their homes had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol throughout the day compared to women who had less clutter (verywellmind.com).”
When do you want to move? Give yourself a deadline and work backward from that date in terms of moving plans, packing, and of course, downsizing. If you decide to move out of state, keep in mind that many moving companies will need advance notice when it comes to prepping and loading.
It’s also a good idea to plan out any donating, selling or giving away of possessions, especially when it comes to larger pieces of furniture or heavy items that need to be moved strategically.
Packing and going through your belongings takes time, and it may take longer than you expect. After making your plans for moving, start going through each room in your home and make notes of anything you haven’t used in a while.
Prioritize the things that are important to you, like family heirlooms, artwork and photo albums, and save those for later. It’s best to start with practical things first, like kitchen supplies or bathroom items. Once you get rid of smaller things that are easier to part with, it’ll be easier to tackle the bigger items later on.
Sort your belongings into three categories – keep, toss and give away/donate – and set up different containers for each category. It might be tempting to create a separate category for any “maybe” items or anything you’re on the fence about keeping, but it’s best to resist doing so. Without a “maybe” category, you can stay focused on the larger picture and avoid getting sidetracked.
As you go through your possessions, take some extra time to appreciate your favorite belongings and reflect on all of the positive memories they bring to you. You can even invite your family and friends to help you during the process, which is an excellent opportunity to reminisce together.
Change is always hard, and the downsizing process can bring up many emotions and fears regarding the unknown. It’s crucial to think about how your lifestyle will thrive and improve and look forward to the bright future ahead in your new senior living community!
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