Downsizing Tips for Seniors Looking for Smaller Floor Plans
Downsizing for seniors is an important step in optimizing your surroundings to fit your lifestyle. Many people prefer to call this process “rightsizing” because they feel this term more accurately conveys the benefits that come with this choice. A one-bedroom apartment set in a sprawling, amenity-rich campus may be the perfect balance of personal space, social opportunities and interesting activities. By opting for a smaller residence in a senior living community, you’re choosing to forgo laborious household chores and yard work in favor of pursuing your interests and spending more time with family members.
Downsizing for Seniors: Practical Tips
The physical aspects of downsizing are easier to complete while you’re still active and energetic. Even if you start small, drawer by drawer, every bit of progress makes a difference. Downsizing for seniors often involves going through decades of belongings, and starting early means you have the time to make thoughtful decisions.
Even if you don’t think you’ll move for another few years, you can make incremental progress. Keep a laundry basket or a box as an ongoing donation pile. As you find duplicates of items you own, put all but one in the pile. If you notice items you don’t use or don’t much like anymore, donate them. Garages, basements and attics are often where we accumulate stuff we don’t need anymore. These may be the easiest places to begin your decluttering process.
Honor This Time of Your Life
Going through belongings can bring up a lot of nostalgia, and it’s healthy to take time to reminisce and enjoy your memories. But remember that retirement is also a time of life that’s rich with possibilities. Keep in mind everything you have to look forward to after a move. A maintenance-free lifestyle at a senior living community will provide you more free time to travel, enjoy the amenities, join clubs and committees, work for worthy causes, and spend time with friends and family members.
Plan Your New Space
When you’re moving to a smaller space, such as a one-bedroom apartment, you’ll likely have fewer rooms than you currently have. If you know the layout of your new apartment or cottage, plan your furniture and storage within the space. That way, you’ll know which pieces won’t make the trip with you, and you can decide where those items should go.
Pass Down Pieces to Loved Ones
Some pieces you absolutely love won’t have a place in your new residence. These instances can be some of the hardest aspects of downsizing for seniors. One way to resolve this situation is to pass down belongings to your family members and loved ones. Maybe a grandchild is moving into their first house, and you can help them furnish it. Maybe one of your children has always loved your china, or another has been borrowing your tools for years. Hand down these items now, and enjoy seeing their excitement firsthand.
Sell Valuable Items
If you have prized items you’re willing to part with, sell them. If the piece is exceptionally valuable, have it appraised to get the best price possible, and seek out a certified dealer. For everyday items, you could find buyers on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or Etsy. You can put your profits toward your move or use them for something fun, like fancy meals or a trip.
Donate What You Can
Items you don’t pass down or sell can be donated. Extra books, clothes, kitchenware, and other odds and ends can add up to a sizable charitable deduction on your taxes. You can choose to support national charities like The Salvation Army or Goodwill, or you could donate to local women’s shelters, homeless shelters or thrift stores. Your generosity could make a difference in many people’s lives.
Hire Professionals if You Need Help
Going through a lifetime of belongings can sometimes feel overwhelming. If that’s the case, you can hire companies that are designed to help seniors move, like Smooth Mooove Senior Relocation Services and Caring Transitions.
At Brandon Wilde, we’re always happy to help connect future residents to resources and services that can make downsizing for seniors easier. We know it can be challenging to begin the process, but we also know the kind of fulfillment and peace of mind seniors can find at a senior living community like Brandon Wilde. If you’d like to find out more about our vibrant lifestyle, contact us. A member of our team would be happy to hear from you and answer any questions about floor plans that may suit your needs.