Downsizing for a move into a senior living community can elicit mixed emotions. The joy of moving into a vibrant, independent living or assisted living community may be coupled with some sadness of selling a family home. Here are some tips to ease the process.
- Engage friends and loved ones to help sort items. Label items to keep, family heirlooms to pass along, items to donate or sell, and things to throw away. Working with people who are close to you allows you to reminisce and share stories about important moments in your life.
- If your time and health permit, host a garage sale or sell items to a consignment store. Finding new uses for your belongings can uplift the spirits and earn some extra money to furnish your new space!
- If you are having trouble deciding what to keep and what to purge, consider hiring a professional organizer or clutter coach who can offer a clear, unbiased perspective.
- Renew your sense of adventure. Look at this time in your life as an opportunity to meet new friends, travel or adopt a new decorating style.
- Take photographs of some of your favorite items that may be too large or that you are unable to take to your new home. Create a memory scrapbook or photo album of these treasured items that you can store on a bookshelf or coffee table. That way, those memories will always be with you.
- Don’t try to tackle your entire house in one day or one weekend. It’s easy to become overwhelmed. Try breaking up the task into smaller steps, starting with one room at a time.
- If you are unsure about an item, set it aside. See if you can live without it. If after 30 days or more you haven’t missed it, then you may be ready to part with it, after all.
- Purchase plastic storage totes that can be stored under a bed or in a closet for seasonal items that don’t need to be out all year long.
- Use this time to make new memories. If your senior community allows pets (Friendship Village Columbus allows small dogs and cats in independent living and assisted living homes), then consider adopting a shelter dog or cat so you can embark on this new chapter in your lives together.
- The most important things in life aren’t things. This quote, attributed to American writer Anthony J. D’Angelo, sums up what life at Friendship Village Columbus is about. It’s not things, but friendship, purpose and peace of mind that make life worth living.
Check out this article from A Place for Mom for advice on helping a senior loved one with the downsizing process.