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Downsizing – Tips to Declutter and Simplify

Considering a Move to a Senior Living Retirement Community?

Are you or a loved one planning a move to a senior living retirement community? If so, you’re not alone. Nearly 50% of all baby boomers and older adults are downsizing—realizing that less can actually be more.

A smaller home makes sense if you want more time and money to travel, pursue your passions and just enjoy retirement. Many choose to make the move to a senior living community so they can seize opportunities to meet new friends, have engaging and exciting experiences, and simplify their lives with a clutter-free residence and no maintenance worries.

Although the goal is to downsize, getting there can feel a bit daunting. Whether you are actively considering a move to a senior living retirement community, or are just starting to think about your downsizing options, we’ve gathered tips that will make decluttering and simplifying your life easier than you ever thought possible.

Tips for Downsizing

Get started

The rule of thumb is to start at least three months before you plan to move. But truth be told, the sooner, the better. Get started, it’s that simple. Often the anticipation is worse than doing it. So, if you start as soon as possible, you can give yourself time to properly sort through your home without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

Concentrate on one room at a time

 The thought of decluttering or organizing your entire home is daunting. Taking things one step at a time is the key. You’re more likely to complete the whole process if you break it into several manageable projects.

Put it on the calendar

When it comes to downsizing, mapping out what you want to accomplish beforehand will help you get it done.  Also consider creating a schedule with both busy, productive days and resting days that allow you to step back and assess your progress.

Single out the sentimental

Downsizing is as much about your mindset as it is your drive to get the job done. Although sentiment is a great thing and a natural human emotion, people often mistake items that aren’t dear for possessions that are. Here are three questions that will go a long way in helping you decide what you’re keeping and what you’re not: Does this item have memories that are cherished? Is it something that’s been passed down for generations? Can I emotionally do without it?

Look at your possessions through practical glasses 

We’ve established that sentiment is a beautiful human emotion. However, we should make sure that we don’t neglect the practical side of things. To help with this, ask yourself questions like: Do I ever use this? Does it have a place in my new clutter-free residence and lifestyle?

Gift the things you no longer want

There are bound to be some sentimental items that won’t fit into your new home. Go ahead and reach out to your family so you can give the items a good home–especially if it’s an item you’d like to keep in your family. This will make you and the recipient feel good. You can even put friends on the list as well. But be sure to do this early and schedule pick-up times at least a week or two before your move.

Pay it forward

 If there’s no interest in certain items from family or friends, consider donating them to a good cause. Perhaps the local school’s music department could use a piano, or the community college art department some camera equipment. And you can feel good about your donation because you’re giving items a new life.

Work smart and have fun!

 There’s another thing about downsizing you should know; there are professionals who do it for a living and are great at it. Hiring the services of a move manager or transition specialist can help make your move as stress-free as possible, and they’ll be there to guide you every step of the way.

The fruits of downsizing can be satisfying and rewarding for seniors who go through this process and make a move to a senior living retirement community like the much-anticipated Manhattan, coming soon to St. Pete. Simplifying their lives will allow them to pursue the important things in life, whether engaging in new and long-time hobbies or having more time with friends and family. That’s the sweetest part of downsizing!