Downsizing Before You Move into a Senior Living Community (10 Tips)

You’ve evaluated living options and found the ideal place to live out the next chapter of your life. Congratulations! The most difficult part is over! Now what to do with all that stuff that’s accumulated over the years? Here are ten downsizing tips to help you downsize before your move.

Make a plan.

Downsizing is a process that involves different days of high productivity, with some space to reflect in between. When you see a move on the horizon, get out the calendar and set dates for those productive days.

Define goals for each day, write down who will need to be involved to reach those goals, and get those friends and relatives involved early on so they can be ready to help when those days come. Be ready to experience a lot of positive, memories and emotions, it is just part of the downsizing before you move. Sometimes, we have to look back, to move forward.

Make a list, BEFORE you start going through things.

Involve a loved one if you think it will help, but it’s OK to sit down by yourself and write down the possessions that you would like to bring to your new home. While it’s not easy, it can be most helpful to write your list without walking around your house and pulling things out. If you can’t think of them now, you won’t miss them when they’re gone.

This is a time when you really have to be ok with selling the vase that your great aunt gave you and has been in the back of your cabinet for twenty years.

If you are like most people your age you may find it hard letting go of items that you haven’t laid your eyes on in twenty years. The sooner you can move forward the easier this entire process is going to be.

Now is the time to focus on what really matters. People, not stuff.

No one can take your happy memories from you. And after this downsizing is over you will be moving on to a new chapter in your life, and likely be making many new friends and memories.

Start with the unsentimental stuff when Downsizing

Sometimes, even parting with an extra wine bottle opener can be difficult. But if you start with the kitchen and the garage, you might be surprised how ready you are to tackle the living room and bedroom! Decide to get rid of everything that is not essential. You may be surprised how much somebody may by that item from you for, there are people who collect everything.

Visit your new home frequently before the move-in.

If you’re moving into a senior living community, spend some time with loved ones in your new apartment or cottage home and visualize your favorite possessions around you. Where will you put them? What won’t be necessary anymore? Then, when you return to your house, it will be easier to visualize where each item will or won’t fit in your new home as you’re organizing.

Decide on a liquidation Plan. Remember you are Downsizing
this is a great opportunity to put some extra cash in your pocket

Today, there are more ways to liquidate excess stuff than ever before. Obviously yard sales are still a viable option. But today the younger generation has all kids of apps on their phone, and they are buying, selling, trading, collecting, and sharing everything, even their cars and homes.

Learn what you can about selling on eBay, Facebook Market Place, The
Let Go App. You can also have an auction company sell some of your excess furniture and household items if you choose to go that route. Most will even come and pick your items up, sale them, and then send you a check.

All of it is a simple process, but find a family member that you can discuss these options with. This article may help you. The 5 Best Apps to sell your stuff and make side money Fast.

Be able to articulate each item’s purpose or sell it.

Alternatively, take the advice of Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, who advises you to pick up each item and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy”? If it doesn’t, set it aside as something you will be selling or giving away.

You don’t need to dispose of things immediately.

You don’t need to throw away your old things just yet. If you are unsure about some items just set them aside, preferably out of sight, and see how you get along without them. You could be surprised at how little you notice they’re gone — and how much you enjoy living with less stuff. Their is a reason my daughter and many in the younger generation have become minimalist, and some are even living in tiny homes.

Don’t throw things away if you can help it. give it away or sell it.

Rather than chucking your old possessions in the garbage, where it will eventually end up in a landfill, you can find a new owner for many of your things. It’s not as difficult to part with familiar items when you know someone else will be enjoying them. And if you can’t give it away, try to recycle! As stated it earlier, with many of the online market places and apps available like Facebook market place, there is somebody that wants what ever you are ready to liquidate. (Even that old wine bottle opener you haven’t used in years 🙂 )

Have fun Downsizing!

Downsizing is a chance to celebrate the items that really matter to you, while saying goodbye to those that have run their course. Involve your friends, family and loved ones as much as you can, and pour a glass of wine if it suits you. But if you plan on doing that you better make sure to save at least one of those old wine bottle openers. Cheers to this next step in your life!