Have you ever had to make the heart wrenching decision to send your parents to an assisted living community? Did they take the news well? The idea of downsizing period can be a difficult topic to discuss. Downsizing can be particularly difficult for seniors because of the of accumulated possessions they’ve held on to over the years. The fact is, they will not only be leaving a home that held so many memories, they will be losing tons of both space and storage space. Whether you or a loved one is downsizing, here are some tips on how to make downsizing positive and less stressful.
Arrange the new bedroom to resemble your old room
The goal of making your new space feel like home is to arrange your new space to look like the room from your previous home. For instance, arrange the bedroom so that when you wake up, you will see the same bookshelves, books, souvenirs, and family photos as it was in your previous home. Just be sure that the room has the space for it. Because the goal is to prevent new clutter from reoccurring, it is important to leave out the items that have not been used, touched or thought about.
Draw up a floor plan of the new place
Measure exactly how much closet, cabinet space and square footage the new place has (assisted living communities will provide this information if you ask) and us the comparable space as a visual guide. This will help you decide which pieces of furniture will work best in the new space and help with deciding what will fit into the new space. It also makes it easier to imagine what it will look like when moved in.
Let it go
It is easier to let go of things if we feel they are going to benefit someone else. Being a blessing to someone in need helps the process letting go more meaningful. Let go of what no longer holds value in your life. Here are three questions to ask yourself when deciding if an item adds value to your life.
- Does it bring happiness?
- If I went to a store, would I buy it today?
- Will it make me rich?
If you’ve answered question 1 with a NO, then it may be time to let that item go. If you’ve answered question 2 with a NO then its time to get rid of it. If you’ve answered question 3 with a YES then “Sale It”.
Start with the unsentimental stuff
Beginning the process of downsizing is already a difficult task therefore it is important to start with the unsentimental items first to lessen the difficulties of parting ways. So if the bedroom or kitchen holds a sentimental value, the best place to start would be either the garage or bathroom.
Having trusted friends and family help your loved one clear their years of clutter can be a massive help when downsizing. This makes the process less stressful because everyone around is able to take part in memories, which help make the process less uncomfortable. In a way, it turns a not so happy situation into a time for your loved one(s) to go down memory lane and share their past experiences. Also, due to their stage in life, seniors are at that age where they’re physically unable to work through task of high volume. If you’re less likely to get help from friends and family, your best bet would be to hire a professional. Professional Organizers, Clutter Coaches or Clutter Consultants are individuals that can help with the process. They are trained to deal with clutter of all sizes and understand what it takes when making a transition.