Downsizing Tips for Seniors: Eight Secrets to Simplify Your Life

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Saturday, August 28, 2021

Moving to a smaller home as a senior citizen is unlike other relocations.

It requires far more planning and forethought than a move made in your twenties or thirties. Most likely, you now have an entire lifetime of possessions to consider, which makes downsizing later in life a unique challenge. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to make the downsizing process go smoothly.

In this article, we have compiled eight smart strategies to help make your relocation a hassle-free breeze.

What matters most?

Start thinking about which belongings you simply bear to cannot part with while keeping in mind that there will be less space in your new home. Create a list of these treasured items. Then, create another list of items that are important but may need to be “rehomed” to a friend or family member if you become short on space.

Start small.

Tackle practical essentials first, like kitchen and bathroom supplies. Save the big stuff for later. Once you’ve gotten into a rhythm with allocating the basics, it can make it easier to decide what stays and what can go.

Sort items into three categories: keep, toss, and give away.

As you go through each room in your home, label containers for what you want to keep, donate (or give to loved ones), and dispose of. It can be tempting to create a “maybe” pile, but try to resist! Eliminating the maybe option keeps you on task and minimizes the paralysis that can set in with downsizing.

Secure your prized possessions.

Downsizing and moving can be hectic. It can be helpful to rent a storage unit or use part of a family member’s garage or basement to place your precious items in during this chaotic time. Doing so reduces the risk of damage or loss of those items and also makes your home appear more spacious to potential buyers.

Create a floor plan for your new home, if possible.

If you have already chosen your next residence, get the dimensions for each room. Then measure each piece of furniture you want to take with you. Use those measurements to create a room-by-room floor plan so you will know what will—and won’t—fit in your new space. If possible, it’s also a good idea to visit your new residence so that you can visualize how it’s all going to come together.

Make a plan for disposing of unwanted items.

Figuring out what to do with no longer needed items can be time-consuming. Many nonprofit organizations welcome donations, but you will need to conduct research to determine what they will and won’t accept. Some charities offer donation pick-up services for larger pieces of furniture or multiple boxes. Be sure to ask each organization for a receipt so you can deduct the donations from your taxes. Keep in mind that electronics have specific rules for disposal that must be followed.

Start well in advance.

If you have lived in your home for many years, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the notion of downsizing. That can lead to procrastination about getting started, which makes the process even more difficult. Starting early gives you the advantage of time and makes the relocation effort less stressful for everyone involved.

Pack an “essentials” bag.

When you make your big move, there are some things you will need access to right away. Prepare a separate bag or container of essentials so you don't have to hunt through boxes on day one. Your essentials container should include:

  • One or two changes of clothing
  • Pajamas and slippers
  • Toiletries, medication, and eyeglasses
  • Important documents
  • Basic kitchen and meal supplies, including non-perishables, snacks, and disposable plates, cups, and utensils
  • Cleaning supplies such as soap, paper towels, Windex, Lysol, and sponges
  • Payment for movers and a small amount of cash in case of an emergency

Transitioning to a smaller home as a senior can be a bittersweet experience. If you need additional resources or have questions, our caring team of professionals is always here to assist you. Please contact us anytime.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients’ legacies for future generations. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, it is always our pleasure to be of service. Please visit our website for more information.

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Live Longer and Healthier with These Seven Smart and Easy Strategies

Most of us hope to live a long, happy life. Fortunately, the last decade has ushered in a wealth of information about the biology of aging. While the Fountain of Youth may still only exist in leg...

Choosing a Cemetery Property: Six Essential Questions You Need to Consider

If you have been tasked with choosing a cemetery property, you may be unsure about where to begin. Many options exist and no two properties are exactly alike, so it’s wise to enter the process as...

Buying a Cremation Urn? Five Things You Need to Know

When it comes to cremation urns, there are thousands of styles, sizes, and options available. It can seem overwhelming and you might wonder where to begin the selection process. In this article, w...

Seven Practical Strategies that Can Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and it is more prevalent among African Americans than among other races. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is inter...

Funeral or Celebration of Life: How to Decide What’s Right for Your Loved One

When a loved one passes away, it is important to honor their life with a memorable final goodbye. In the past, society has turned to funeral services based on religious or cultural traditions to ...

Funeral Attire Do’s and Don’ts: Six Indispensable Tips Everyone Needs to Know

If you’re planning to attend a funeral or memorial service, you may be wondering about the rules of etiquette—what to say to the bereaved, how to extend condolences, and where to send flowers, for ...

Avoiding Hidden Sodium: Seven Strategies to Improve Your Diet

Consuming too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease, and other health issues. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming less than 2,300 mg of sodi...

Your Guide to Estate Planning: Seven Common Mistakes and Mishaps to Avoid

Estate planning is about getting your affairs in order for the end of your life and beyond. While it can be uncomfortable to consider end-of-life wishes, no one will live forever. Whether you are ...

Take These Practical Steps to Plan for Your Pet’s Care When You Pass Away

Have you ever considered what would happen to your pets if you died or became seriously ill? They have no one to advocate for them unless you do, so don’t leave them out of your estate planning e...

Digital Compassion: Seven Things to Know About Expressing Sympathies at a Virtual Funeral

Live streaming allows mourners to take part in memorial ceremonies at any time, from anywhere. While the COVID-19 health crisis ushered in the dire need for virtual funeral solutions, other barri...