Downsizing for Seniors: Tips for Every Step of the Process
Downsizing when you are older makes a lot of sense. You get a chance at a fresh start with a simpler, less stressful life, while also giving yourself a comfortable and safe place to spend your golden years. This is why experts recommend taking a proactive approach to your housing needs in old age, making the big move as soon as possible so you can reap the benefits for longer.
When looking for your smaller, more practical home, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, it needs to be somewhere that is safe for a person with mobility problems - even if you don’t have these now, they do affect one in five seniors and it is best to be prepared. This means no stairs and preferably no thick, shaggy carpet that is difficult to navigate in a wheelchair.
Secondly, you need to consider the area, including nearby resources like shops and entertainment. At some point, you may not be able to drive anymore, so it would be best to live somewhere that is walking distance from at least some stores. You may also want to move closer to family, or opt for somewhere that has a lively senior community.
Cutting Down On Possessions
According to Senior Lifestyle, 60 percent of seniors acknowledge that they have more stuff than they need. In order to downsize effectively, all that extra stuff needs to find a new home, otherwise you risk living in a cramped and cluttered house. This can be a real health hazard, both mentally and physically, so this stage is absolutely essential.
If you are scared of decluttering, it’s a good idea to ask friends and family to help out. Dedicate several days to the task, tackling one room at a time. As you sort through your possessions, split them into the following categories: keep, give to family, give to charity, sell, and discard.
Finally, try to be honest with yourself when it comes to determining the sentimental value of an object. It’s easy to think you can’t give anything away, but you will often find that seemingly sentimental objects don’t actually mean that much to you when you stop to think about it. This guide has some more great advice on decluttering sentimental items.
The best thing you can do to make sure that moving day goes smoothly is to start planning as soon as possible - a moving checklist can help. Give yourself plenty of time to pack and arrange your belongings so you are not hurrying to finish putting things in boxes the day before moving.
If you have a pet, consider hiring a dog boarding service for the days around moving day as the chaos can be stressful for them. Rover.com can help you find an experienced sitter near you that will take good care of your pet until they are settled into their new home.
It’s a good idea to get some help for moving day since it is invariably a stressful and physically demanding job. Either ask your family to come help over the weekend or hire a moving company, preferably one who has experience dealing with senior moves.
Once you are settled into your new, smaller home, it’s time to relax and start enjoying your golden years. You will soon find that your life feels simpler and less tiring when you are living somewhere that is well-suited to your needs. This will leave you with all the time and energy you need to keep up an active social life, discover new hobbies and spend time with family.
Courtesy Mike Longsdon ElderFreedom.net