As we age, we all collect things over the years. These items and possessions fill up our house, take up space, and eventually serve as memories of the lives we have led.
While it would be nice to keep all these items, eventually there comes a point when downsizing becomes a consideration. Especially for the elderly, maintaining a large home with many possessions can be a difficult task. It can lead to unnecessary stress, worry and takes up a large amount of time.
If you have been wondering if you or a family member should consider downsizing, here are some questions you can consider when deciding if downsizing is the right decision for your family:
- Is my home too large for my lifestyle?
- Do I have many unnecessary items in my home that I never use?
- Is keeping up with the maintenance of my home causing me stress?
- Can I still lead the life I want in a smaller space?
- Would it be better for my health to move to a different neighborhood in order be closer to family/friends?
If you can answer yes to many of the previous questions, downsizing may be the best option for you.
But now what?
Deciding it’s time to downsize is a lot simpler than actually tackling the entire project of moving to a smaller place. Downsizing takes a lot of time and work and may appear overwhelming at first glance. However, when broken down into manageable chunks the task seems much easier to accomplish.
In this blog, we’ve broken it down into four simple stages to help you get started:
- Have a discussion. If you are making the decision to downsize your own home, you need to have a conversation with your children, friends, and the people you live with. Explain to them what has led you to this decision and how you think it will benefit your life. If you want to talk with a parent or grandparent about helping them downsize, take the time to explain how this can be a positive experience. They may be the resistant to the idea so make sure you have a valid list of reasons why you think downsizing is the best option, and provide them with emotional support as well.
- Assess your needs. Once you have made the decision to downsize, it’s time to decide what types of items you want to bring with you. Take a walk through your house and consider how often you use everything in your home. Could you be happy with smaller furniture? Are there any objects that are just sitting around collecting dust? A good technique is to record how many times you use everything in your home in a 3-6 month period. If you find that there are several things that never get used in that time frame, you should consider getting rid of it.
- Start searching. Once you understand your needs, it’s time to start looking at different types of living environments. How small is too small? Do you want to move to a location that is closer to family or medical centers? There are several different housing options to consider such as smaller houses, apartments, condominiums, senior communities or even moving in with children. Take the time to think about which environment would fit your lifestyle needs the most.
- Begin the de-cluttering process. Once you know where you want to move, it’s time to start organizing. Set achievable goals that you can accomplish so you don’t become frusrated with the project. Move through your house room by room and get rid of anything you can’t bring with you. Empty out file cabinets, sell furniture you aren’t keeping and look into storage rental services for items you can’t take but can’t bear to part with either.
Downsizing can be a long and difficult project, but with the help and support of family and friends you can move into a smaller location that will make your life healthier and stress free.
Angels Senior Home Solutions is a based-in-faith company that provides in-home healthcare and personal care services for seniors. Visit our website here or find us on Facebook!