Downsizing is something most seniors think about at a certain point in their lives; after losing a spouse or partner, after retirement, or following a major life change such as a medical diagnosis or injury. Others make the decision to move to a smaller home because they want to save money; doing so can help a senior make the most of their retirement years, since they’ll be able to travel or pursue other activities they’ve always wanted to try. It’s a big job, however, moving a home and a life into a smaller space.
That’s why it’s so important to figure out the answers to many questions before you make any decisions. This means decluttering and going through your belongings to choose which ones will make the move with you before you even begin packing up, and creating a plan for moving day that will make the process as easy as possible. Preparing ahead of time will help to reduce stress and anxiety – which are common when making a major life change – and will allow you to enjoy the move into this new chapter of your life.
Consider your new location
A major part of downsizing is figuring out where you want to move to. Many seniors want to stay close to family members, or to their favorite stores and doctors’ offices. Others have disabilities or health issues and need their new home to be more accessible, meaning wider doorways and lower countertops, among other things. Think about the most important things your new home needs to have and make a list of the ones you can’t live without. This will help you narrow down the possibilities.
One of the most important aspects of a move is staying organized. This will help to reduce stress and will allow you to focus on the job at hand. Start by making lists of all the tasks you need to accomplish and items you need to buy, and check them off as you go. Talk to friends and family members to ask for their help on moving day.
Take pictures of your new home so you’ll have a reference when it’s time to plan for furniture placement; this is especially important for those who are downsizing, since you likely won’t be able to bring all your large pieces to a smaller place. For these items, consider renting a storage unit to keep them safe until a family member can take them, or until you’ve decided whether to sell or donate them. Keep in mind that the average cost of a storage unit in Naples was about $110.65 over the last 180 days.
Packing smart isn’t only about making sure you get the most out of each box’s space; it’s also important to make sure you’re packing your belongings correctly so nothing is damaged in transit. Make sure you have sturdy boxes, markers, tape, newspaper and anything else that can keep your packing organized and efficient. Stores like Home Depot sell all-in one packing kits that include everything you need, some for as low as $43. And remember, even books can suffer if they aren’t placed in the box the right way; keep this in mind when you’re getting ready for the move. Don’t forget to save several boxes for moving day so you can bring cleaning supplies and last-minute items like medication or phone chargers.
Help your loved one
Often, seniors who have recently lost a loved one require a downsize due to a change in their financial situation or because they suffer from a disease like Alzheimer’s, which renders a need for care. If your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s disease, their grief may be a challenge for both of you to cope with depending on which stage of the illness they’re in. Doing what you can to help alleviate stress and anxiety will help greatly when it comes to making sure your loved one gets through the move with relative ease.
Getting through the moving process can be extremely overwhelming if you don’t have a good plan, so sit down and write out lists and prepare for the job as much as possible before making any decisions. With a little patience, you can ensure the move is stress-free.