Tips for downsizing: Senior edition

Tips for downsizing: Senior edition

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There can be a lot of stress involved with moving into a new home, especially if the move involves downsizing. For seniors, downsizing is a reality they must face once the decision has been made that they no longer need their large estate. The following tips can be used for any moving situation, however, for this blog, the rules are customized for a senior’s transition into a smaller home.

“You” first…

First and foremost, you must pick what you want to have come with you to your new home. This step does not mean to go through everything thing you own, but rather to put aside the things that come to mind when you think of what should be kept. Typically, this is artwork and furniture. The nitty-gritty part of going through every item you own comes later on in the process of downsizing.

“Them” second

A special step to be considered for seniors is that they likely have children and grandchildren who may want to keep certain items for their own homes. Everything that was not originally set aside by the senior to be kept, the children can raid through and put aside what they wish to keep for themselves. While it may be tough to part with belongings, seniors have the assurance of knowing that these items they love will remain in the family, this tends to ease the process.

Slowly, but surely

Now that items have been claimed and put aside, seniors can begin to discard, keep or donate the rest of their belongings; this can be a long and tough process. It is best to do only two or three rooms a day, to give the elderly time to come to terms with what they must let go of. If you have cleaned out your own closet, then you likely understand how hard it is to part with that shirt you used to love, but never wear anymore. Imagine going through that turmoil, but with every item in your house, day after day. This process is hard, so don’t push too much make sure to give your loved one time to mentally prepare for the next day.

Not too soft

If you’re helping your parents downsize, it can be hard to see them distraught about letting go of things they worked hard to own. You might feel the need to let them keep items that you know they never use. This is when you have the tough job of putting your foot down and making sure they let go. If you start letting them keep everything they want, it will be impossible to successfully move them into a smaller home. To help put this into perspective, think about the size of their house now. If they are going into a complex that is half the size of their current home, they should let go of half their belongings.

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