Downsizing can bring a lot of emotional and financial benefits to your life. One survey showed that at least half of seniors in Ontario were looking to downsize in order to reduce their overall cost of living. Some of them choose to move into senior living facilities, which can help with your overall health and happiness. If you’re downsizing and going into a senior living community, here’s how to have an easy move.
- Make a plan
A recent article from Forbes mentioned that the downsizing process can take more time than expected, but this can be dramatically reduced if it’s well planned. Overestimate how much time it’ll take you to pack, move, and unpack. This can help you open wide windows of time in order to get more items on your to-do list done. Don’t just plan for the date you move: plan for the dates you’ll pack, who you’ll hire or ask for help, and how much it will all cost.
- Declutter slowly
Decluttering can help you organize your mind and use your items more deliberately. You can have a chance to start over fresh in a senior facility, which will have less space, but will give you greater peace of mind. Experts on decluttering and organizing mention that when the task seems too big, starting off with a trash bag and 10 minutes is enough to overcome inertia and get the ball rolling. Sometimes, that’s all you can do: tell yourself to work for just 10 minutes. Take your time with each room and its contents.
- Scan important documents
In a remarkably simple process, many documents can be scanned and saved to the cloud using just a smartphone. Important documents include legal documents such as birth certificates, passports, wills, receipts, your marriage license, and whatever else you feel is important.
- Put valuables all in one place
Storing your valuables and important documents together is one of the most important pieces of downsizing advice that you’ll receive. This will help reduce the stress of losing important and valued items. Start packing early by getting a box to put all your valuables in. Write “Important” on the box, and keep it in an area where you have easy access.
- Sell things you no longer need
Some people go so far as to sell everything when they make a move. This isn’t necessary, but any extra money you make when downsizing can either go toward offsetting moving costs or straight to the bank. Sell only your items that are still in good, working condition. If an item is still salvageable, clean it up or fix it. Some items may not be redeemable, so donate or trash those.
- Follow the one-year rule
As you’re packing and decluttering, look at items you haven’t used in a while. If it’s been more than a year since you used it (or you simply can’t remember the last time you used it), then donate or sell it.
- Make time for different tasks
If you don’t have enough time to dedicate solely to moving, block out chunks of time instead. The chunks of time will actually help you be more efficient in your packing, as believing you have all the time in the world tends to make you procrastinate. Do 15-minute increments if you can’t do anything else. You can also do 2-hour increments and play a movie or listen to a book while you pack up.
- Plan storage before moving
Carefully color-coordinating or labeling boxes well in advance can help ensure you don’t forget or lose anything, and will make the move-in much quicker. Measure the storage in your new place and take only what fits best.
A senior living facility is a great opportunity to make new friends and start a new phase filled with fun and curiosity. Downsizing is a great blessing and will help you enjoy a higher quality of life. Declutter with care and pack in increments. There are many great moments yet to come.
Article written by Karen Weeks, for Trillium Communities.