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Downsizing Tips for Seniors: How To Make The Process Easier

By Patrick Young of the blog AbleUSA.info

For many seniors, downsizing makes the most sense after retirement. Living in a smaller home means less to take care of, smaller utility bills and mortgage payments, and the opportunity to stay safe and healthy in order to age in place. It can be physically and emotionally demanding to make a move, however, especially if you have health issues or are making changes after the death of a loved one, so it’s important to look for ways you can make the process as easy as possible. This might mean asking for help in going through your belongings, especially if you’re going to sell or donate any items.

Getting organized will help immensely, especially if you have a lot of belongings. Make a plan for each large item by taking photos of your new home so you can get an idea of where they’ll go; this will help you figure out which items will fit and which ones need to be donated, sold, or given to a family member.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to make downsizing much easier.

Get organized
Getting organized is the key to making the moving process go smoothly. Sit down and make lists of all the things you need to take care of, such as changing your address with the post office, arranging for movers and help from friends and family, gathering packing supplies, and setting up utilities at the new place. Write down all the things you need to buy, such as cleaning supplies, and delegate responsibilities to those who have offered to help. For instance, you might ask a close friend to help unpack the kitchen, while a family member takes over the same duties in the bathroom.

Prepare for a smaller space
A major aspect of downsizing is going through all your belongings and deciding what can be donated, trashed, or sold. In order to live in a smaller space, you’ll need to make a commitment to organization. This is mostly because your new place simply won’t have the room for everything, but it’s also just a good way to start fresh. Go through closets, cabinets, and drawers and get organized. Keep in mind that this might be emotionally challenging for you, especially if you’ve suffered a loss recently, so it can be a good idea to ask a close friend or family member to help out or be there for moral support.

Make packing easier
Packing up an entire home will take some time, but it’s important to go slowly and make sure it’s done right. Keep items from the same room together, and write out packing lists to tape to the outside of each box so you can find things easily during the moving process. Make sure you leave out several boxes for moving day so you can pack up last-minute items, such as medication, phone chargers, and cleaning supplies.

Take care of yourself
Moving can be physically and mentally exhausting, so it’s important to take care of yourself during the process. Get plenty of rest, take breaks as needed, and ask for help when you can get it. Remember to eat and drink plenty of water on moving day; sometimes, in the thick of the action, it’s easy to forget.

Downsizing doesn’t have to be stressful. Start with a solid plan and get organized in the beginning so the process will run smoothly the entire way through. Keep the benefits of your move in mind in order to stay focused; downsizing can help you stay safe and happy for years to come.

Patrick Young is a writer and manager for AbleUSA.info, a lifestyle blog dedicated to men and women living with disabilities.

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