7 DOWNSIZING TIPS TO EASE THE TRANSITION INTO YOUR NEW HOME
Many seniors decide to downsize to a smaller home as a way to save money and reduce excess space and responsibility. And while downsizing has many benefits, it can also be a little intimidating.
The below tips will help make the process as smooth as possible. Following these strategies will keep you focused and efficient as you navigate this complex transition.
1. START PLANNING EARLY
Making the decision to downsize to a smaller home is a big undertaking. Like anything else, the process tends to be much more pleasant when you have proper time to plan and do your research. Start thinking about your future plans as early as possible. What is your ideal living situation? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you desire? Do you need to sell your current furniture? Would you like to stay in the area or go somewhere new? Brainstorm and think through exactly what you want your future to look like. This shouldn’t be a stressful, overwhelming exercise. This is the fun part! You can worry about the details later. For now, just try to think about your perfect living situation and what that would look like for you and your family.
2. PURGE YOUR HOME BEFOREHAND
The hardest part about downsizing is discarding personal items that you don’t want to take with you to your new home. It’s helpful to start this early- it can be a daunting task.
You want to use this opportunity to get rid of everything you don’t truly love or need. Discard any broken items. Give your children any keepsakes you’ve collected throughout the years. Donate unwanted clothes, appliances, or furniture. It can be sad to get rid of items, but it will make your transition to a smaller home much easier. Consider this your fresh start!
3. ASK FOR HELP
Purging old items can be very time-consuming. Ask your friends and family for help and support. Loved ones can also provide valuable guidance on what items to keep verses donate. There are also people and organizations who can help take your items away so you don’t have to do the physical labor yourself. Don’t try to do it all. Ask for help and save your energy when you can.
4. STORE ALL IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS IN A SAFE PLACE
Gather all your important documents like your birth certificate, social security card, and insurance information into one safe space. It’s helpful to keep it all together in a binder or a file folder. Make sure you know where this important information is and that you have easy access to it at any time. It’s easy to lose track of things during a move. Keep your important documents safe and secure.
5. LET YOURSELF FEEL YOUR EMOTIONS
It’s normal to feel nostalgic and a little sad when you’re in the process of downsizing. Feeling excited, nervous, and even angry are normal, too. Give yourself permission to feel whatever emotions come up for you. There is no right or wrong way to feel. People experience things differently, and no two people will have the same exact emotions for any given event. Downsizing is a large change. It’s normal to have lots of different emotions. Let yourself process your feelings at your own pace.
6. UNPACK QUICKLY
When you’re finally in your new home, make a point to unpack and get settled quickly. This will make the transition much easier. The last thing you want to worry about is where your coffee cups are on the first morning in your new home. It can be tempting to let yourself live among boxes for a while, but don’t let a few days turn in to a few months. Try to be as proactive as possible so you can truly enjoy your new home.
7. MAKE THE SPACE YOUR OWN
You want your new home to feel like you. It’s important to unpack quickly, but it’s also important to take the time to add your own personal touches. Paint the walls, hang up artwork, and fill the bookshelves. Decorating and nesting is a great way to bond with your new space and truly feel at home there.
Downsizing is a large undertaking. By following the above tips, you’ll make the process as efficient as possible. Good luck in your next chapter!