Enjoy Your Space: Downsizing Tips for Seniors
Downsizing for retirement is a common task as older adults start thinking about moving to a senior living community, such as The Village at Woods Edge. Relocating to our retirement community puts you in the heart of a small-town setting with friendly neighbors, but it likely means moving to a smaller space. Parting with some of your belongings helps you fit into your new home better. Downsizing can also help you simplify your life overall, so you can enjoy a carefree lifestyle in your retirement years. Find out how to prepare for senior living by decluttering your home and downsizing your belongings.
1. Know Where You're Going
If you're still in the early stages of retirement planning, you might not have your new address picked out yet. You can start downsizing for retirement at any time, but it's helpful to know where you'll be moving. Knowing the layout and how much space you'll have can help you decide which furniture pieces and decorations to keep, so your new space feels cozy and charming. Check out the available floor plans at TVWE to get an idea of what your new living space could look like and how we can accommodate your living preferences.
2. Start With What You Don't Use
When decluttering your home, start by getting rid of things you don't use. This could include decor that doesn't match your style anymore, clothes that no longer fit, or anything you haven't used in the last year. Another easy way to pare down your belongings is to eliminate duplicates of items. If you're moving into Independent Living, you can get rid of items such as lawn care equipment and tools since maintenance tasks will be handled for you.
3. Have a Method
Establishing a method of downsizing for retirement helps with consistency. You might start with one room and go through everything before moving to the next room. When downsizing and decluttering your home, consider separating your belongings into piles. One efficient method is to place items into one of four categories:
For the things you're keeping, decide what you'll do with them for now. If you're moving soon, you might pack them up right away and put them in a storage area to keep things organized.
4. Let Go of Items
Don't wait to remove items from your home that you're not keeping. By letting go of items that you are ready to part with quickly, you reduce clutter and free up space for the rest of your downsizing work. You're also less likely to change your mind and keep more than you should if you get these items out of the house promptly.
While some pieces have sentimental value and you may want to take time to consider whether or not to keep them, older items that are damaged and not useful to anyone can go in the trash or recycling right away. If you're selling items, list them immediately to get them on their way to their new homes. For donation items, schedule a pickup if the charity you're donating to offers that option. Otherwise, pick a day of the week as your donation day, and drop off items as they accrue to keep your process moving.
5. Ask for Help
Sorting through years of belongings can be overwhelming. It's not always easy to know what to keep and what to toss. Asking an adult child or another family member for help can give you some perspective. Maybe you have something with sentimental value but don't really have room for it. Your loved one might want to have the item, so it can stay in the family while freeing up space in your home.
You can also hire professional help from services such as Next Chapter Solutions, which offers relocation services specifically for seniors. It starts with an in-home consultation to determine your needs. The experts can help you look at your new floor plan and decide what to keep, which can be helpful if you're overwhelmed or have a hard time getting rid of anything. You might obtain some tips and guidance on downsizing by attending special events that focus on this topic, such as the Rightsizing luncheon held at The Village at Woods Edge.
6. Prepare for Emotions
Downsizing your home often comes with strong emotions, especially if you're also moving. Go into it knowing you might feel some sadness or even grief. Talking about those feelings to a friend can be helpful, particularly if you have a friend who's already gone through the process. You might invite them over to sip some sweet tea, talk about memories, and offer support for the changes in your life. It can also help to remember why you're downsizing. Picture yourself on a morning walk with a neighbor or having more time for activities, such as gardening, golf, or lunches with friends. While change is always difficult, looking at what you're gaining can help you work through the emotions.
Find Your Next Home
If you're still trying to find your perfect home for your retirement years, The Village at Woods Edge oozes Southern charm and welcomes you with a warm, neighborly environment. Experience the small-town feel for yourself when you schedule a tour. Send a message via our contact form, or call 757-517-2791 to set up a time for your visit.