Many seniors choose to move into retirement communities as they get older. This may be due to a variety of reasons. Some may require medical assistance or help with daily living activities while others may prefer to live with a community of like-minded people instead of being alone. Regardless of the reason, the move to a retirement community often requires us to make important decisions about what to bring over to our new homes. Due to space or logistic constraints, there is only so much we can take along! If you need some tips on downsizing in retirement, you have come to the right place.
Always set aside ample time for downsizing in your retirement. It can be a lengthy and tiring process so the more time you give yourself, the better. We often accumulate items as we get older which may take us a while to look through. Planning and starting early also means that you are less likely to feel rushed or stressed during the downsizing process. This not only makes it more enjoyable, but it also means you are less likely to miss out on things you want to bring along!
Use a Checklist to Guide You
One good way to begin downsizing is to make a checklist. Senior living communities often provide a checklist of items to bring along. Hence, if your items are not on the list, you should not bring them over. Commonly, retirement communities with senior living amenities do not require you to bring many daily items. Using a checklist helps you to focus your energy and ensures that you do not miss out on anything important. It will be great if you can measure the storage spaces in your new home to ensure that your items can fit into them.
Decide What Items to Keep and Throw
Sort your items into “must-haves” and “can do without”. Necessities should always be in the “must-have” pile as they are things you cannot live without. After that, mark out a space or a corner to place your “must-have” items. This will help you remember which objects are necessities. Try using sticky notes to label your items. If you find it difficult to discard certain items, try picking up a self-help book on decluttering. They can provide insightful philosophies to help you in your decision-making process.
Remove Unwanted Items
Once you know which items you want to discard, it is important to have a plan for their removal. Some ideas include gifting it to family or hosting a garage sale. If you want to give back to the community, consider donating your items to charity! It is important that you separate items that can still be used from items that are damaged. Look into junk removal companies in your area that can assist you in disposing of large and bulky items.
Do Not Impose on Others
In the process of downsizing, it may be tempting to pass your items to others instead of throwing them away. However, this can quickly become a burden for others who may not appreciate the item as much as you do. Consider keeping a journal of your belongings or taking photographs of them instead.