After decades of collecting knickknacks; pursuing hobbies; going on trips; and celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, you can acquire quite a lot of stuff. That’s probably why one of the bigger questions of retirement is what to do with everything when you’re ready to move to a senior living community? To help, this post will offer decluttering and downsizing tips for seniors and suggestions for things to bring to a senior living community. But first, we’ll start with tips for seniors selling their homes.
Selling Your Home
You’ve decided it’s time to move and have started researching your senior living options, but what about selling your current home? The process can be stressful, so here are a couple of ways to help it go more smoothly:
- Time to sell: Contact your real estate agent for a home appraisal. To help ensure a quick sale, your agent can also offer suggestions on what needs to be updated and what doesn’t.
- Home improvements: Make a list of needed home repairs and arrange to have the work done. If there are some projects you’re not sure how to tackle, your real estate agent may be able to suggest trustworthy companies to do the work.
How Much Should I Downsize?
As you’re reviewing your floor plan options, it’s important to consider how much space you’re currently using and if downsizing makes sense:
- Maintenance: Cleaning and maintaining a big living space can become overwhelming. A community can handle any needed repairs to appliances, heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical. Plus most offer housekeeping and flat linen service.
- Cost of living: Moving to a smaller space is a quick way to save money and make your retirement savings go further. The smaller your new space, the less you’ll have to spend on expenses like heating and electricity. Plus, by moving to a senior living community, you’ll eliminate having to pay property taxes.
- More socializing: Once the maintenance is taken care of, you’ll have more time to pursue your hobbies and interests. A Life Plan Community like Brandon Wilde has a calendar full of fitness and wellness classes, clubs, committees, happy hours, and social outings.
Downsizing Your Belongings
After you’ve picked your floor plan, it’s time to decide what you want to take to your new residence. Sorting through meaningful keepsakes and mementos is a tough job. You could consider hiring one of the many companies that help seniors downsize or you can follow these tips to help make the process less stressful.
- Go slow: Sorting through a lifetime of important memories isn’t something you can get done in a weekend or even a week. Pick one box or collection of items and go through it piece by piece without rushing. After you finish with that box, start on another.
- Remember: Looking at keepsakes and mementos can bring up memories of significant life events. Take the time to reminisce over special moments and tell stories.
- Get organized: Create a list for every room in your house and sort each possession into one of four categories: keep, sell, give away, and decide later.
(Everything on the decide later list must eventually move to one of the other columns.) Use these key questions to figure out which list to put each item on:
- Do I use it regularly? Have I used it in the past year?
- Does it truly enhance my quality of life?
- Will it fit in my new living space and future lifestyle?
- Does it have a significant dollar value?
- Is it necessary?
- Does it have sentimental value?
- Would a family member or friend appreciate the item or use it?
- Be homey: Keep only the possessions (collectibles, heirlooms, mementos, art) that make your house distinctively your home.
- Clean the kitchen: At a community like Brandon Wilde, you’ll be cooking less and taking advantage of our dining venues more. Consider keeping only the pots, pans and utensils you’ll need and giving the rest away.
- Let go of your library: Make sure to keep your favorite books and then consider donating or selling the rest.
- Freshen your linens: Go through your sheets, blankets and bath towels, and throw away any threadbare, stained or unmatched items. In fact, once you’ve moved, you might want all new items to match your new space.
- Clothes and coats: If you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably don’t need it anymore.
We’re Wilde About Downsizing
At Brandon Wilde, our team has helped hundreds of seniors just like you make the move, and we offer a variety of senior downsizing services. To learn more about all the Wilde ways we can help you, use our contact form or call us at 706-868-9800.