Moving to an independent living community means preparing yourself for a new lifestyle. While this latest adventure can be exciting, it can also be challenging for many. The process of downsizing can be particularly difficult for seniors who have collected many items over the years. Fortunately, the process of downsizing can be simplified with a clear plan of action. Here’s what you need to know about how to downsize before moving to an independent living community.
Dealing with Household Items
If you’ve already decided to move to a senior living community, you’ve likely realized that your current home has more in it than can be brought with you. Here’s how to approach the decision-making process when determining what to keep and what to keep, what to toss, what to donate and what to sell.
Deciding What to Keep (and What to Let Go)
Are you really going to need that full wardrobe of clothing that you no longer wear? How about the small appliances filling your cabinets? What about the stuff you’ve kept in storage for your adult children? Now is a great time to reassess what you’re holding onto, and why.
Downsizing is about prioritizing what you really need to live your best life in your new space. Start with non-sentimental items and go room by room. Be realistic about what makes sense to keep and what doesn’t. Keep in mind that many items you think you may need—like multiple kitchen gadgets and roasting pans—may no longer be needed in a community with on-site dining venues.
Items in storage which are rarely used are also an easy choice to get rid of when downsizing. Ask yourself the question, “If this item has been sitting in storage for years, am I really going to miss it?” Most often, you’ll find that the answer is an easy “no.”
Finding Space for Items You Don’t Want to Part With
Downsizing doesn’t mean getting rid of all of your possessions. Small, sentimental items are great to take with you to your new residence to help retain some familiarity during this transitional phase of your life. Important pictures, small keepsakes and other treasures offer an ideal way to hold on to a piece of the past while preparing for the future.
For larger items you can’t take with you but you don’t necessarily want to part with, consider an alternative option. Can the piece be sold or passed on to a friend or family member? Can it be given as a gift? It may help you feel better about letting go of the item if you know it’s going to a good home.
Don’t Forget Donation and Recycling
If you can’t keep an item, it’s not worth selling and none of your friends or family can take it, it may be time to donate or recycle the item. While this choice may be difficult, your decision to part with an item can make a positive difference in someone else’s life.
Recycling can also give your items new life in another form. This process keeps items out of landfills and offers a great way to protect the environment for future generations.
Additional Downsizing Strategies
While dealing with household items will likely be your biggest challenge when downsizing, it may not be the only obstacle you’ll face. Here are some additional tips to get you ready for your move.
Use Lists When You Can
There’s a lot to keep track of when moving. Packing lists, updating contact information on important accounts and other details can easily slip through the cracks. To ensure that doesn’t happen, get in the habit of writing down all of this important information and keep it in a safe place. Instead of asking yourself, “Am I forgetting something important?” you’ll be able to easily refer back to your notes. Digitizing records can also be helpful so you can store and refer to them later.
Enlist Help from Family and Friends
Downsizing can be stressful, but you don’t have to go it alone. By getting family and friends involved, you’ll be able to spread the workload and reduce stress. Friends and family can also offer objective opinions on what makes sense to keep and what doesn’t, so you can feel more confident about any difficult decisions you have to make before moving.
Find the Perfect Retirement Community at Claridge Court
At Claridge Court, we have welcomed countless seniors who are looking to get more out of their retirement years. Our independent living residents enjoy amenities and services like underground parking, a dedicated maintenance team, weekly housekeeping and on-site dining venues that make living here a breeze. If you have any questions about life here, or would like to schedule a tour, contact us today or complete the form below.