8 Essential Downsizing Tips for Seniors

old couple sitting on a bench

If you've bought a new home and you're getting ready for a so-called retirement move, that's a good opportunity to do some downsizing. Even if that's not the case with you, getting rid of some stuff this way is good. It's like the most casual thing out there. Okay, that might be an overstatement. However, if one thinks about how much stuff folks accumulate until they enter their golden years, downsizing becomes something of a necessity. Some studies suggest that average senior couples possess tens of thousands of items! Now, isn't that something? Anyway, in the article that you're about to read, we'll show the 8 essential downsizing tips for seniors, emphasizing why such an action can be a great thing for you!

#1 Start small

First things first, you'll want to start small. In other words: begin the downsizing by "handling" only a single room of your choice. The thing is: going through your entire home all at once might be a bit overwhelming. Also, this will allow you to focus on what items really belong where, and so on. Here's a suggestion: start with the most infamous room for its storage capabilities. Once you've taken care of it, continue to do the next one. You can make something of a schedule, doing one room per week. Also, it's best you get an early start than prolong the process to infinity. 

beautiful bedroom

Your motto should be one room at a time as it’s one of the best downsizing tips for seniors.

#2 Duplicate items? Get rid of 'em

Okay, so we're not suggesting you should only keep one spoon or something. The main thing is that many folks possess duplicate items inside their households. Whether they've bought something because they've thought they'll need it "just in case" or that a certain item was lost and they needed a new one, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you know you've got the chance to get rid of duplicate items. Keep the ones that you prefer, and declutter the rarely used extras. 

#3 Host a yard sale

The downsizing process is also a nice opportunity to earn some money and have fun by selling some of the items you don't need anymore. In other words: why don't you host a good old-fashioned yard sale? It's a great occasion to get the whole neighborhood together and share fine memories that are more or less tied to some of the items you'll sell. Not to mention that you'll probably earn some good money you can use later on to tip your movers, for instance. Speaking of which, if you're organizing a long-distance move and hiring movers, you want to get there with ease, right? If that's so, refrain from trying to organize it DIY-style and hire pros for the task. 

old stuff

By hosting a good old yard sale, you'll get the opportunity to share some nice memories with your fellow neighbors.

#4 Steer clear of multitasking

Here's another clever addition to this list of 8 essential downsizing tips for seniors: avoid multitasking by all means. Try keeping your focus at the max level by not turning on the TV while you're cleaning up a certain space or listening to music or something similar. You'll be amazed at how fast you'll progress by keeping your thoughts directed solely at the tasks you've laid ahead of yourself! 

#5 Do a so-called 90-day test

While downsizing, one can't help but wonder: how do I determine what I should keep? If you're reluctant about saying goodbye to a certain item, put it inside a box and set the box aside. You can always retrieve it from the box if you notice you can't live without it. However, if your thought about that special item doesn't occur even after 90 days, that's a clear sign that you can live without it just fine. The so-called 90-day challenge is a fantastic way to figure out whether you truly need something or don't. 

#6 Handle hazardous items

When folks think about senior downsizing, they're prone to imagine that the whole process should start with taking care of items that might present a safety risk inside a retiree's household. A senior's home needs to be a safe environment, right? Right. That's why you should remove most of the items you'll find on the following list: 

  • Old rugs. 
  • Broken chairs or faulty couches. 
  • Old medications. 
  • Broken pots. 
  • Unfixable items.
  • Old electronics or wires. 

We reckon there's no need to continue the list since you get the idea. Anything that presents a safety risk needs to be thrown away. 

health care

Remove all items that present a safety risk to your or your loved one's safety. Better safe than sorry!

#7 Rent out a storage space

If you're not that much into throwing things away but still think it's about time to do some downsizing, you can rent out a storage space to place all the items you're unsure what to do with. This is something that's very popular among seniors, or so we hear folks who had experience with professionals from number1movers.ca. Since they're expert movers offering storage services, we can easily say they're worthy of your trust. So, if you want your home free of clutter but don't want to throw this or that item away, you can always rent out storage space.

#8 Donate some of the stuff

If you stumble upon some items that could be used by another person (i.e., they're not broken or something), it might be a good idea to donate them to folks who need them more than you do, obviously. For instance, think about all the clothing items you've got inside your wardrobe that you haven't worn for years. Donating to charity is always the best thing to do in a situation like that. 

Final words

Alright folks, that's about all when it comes to the 8 essential downsizing tips for seniors. We hope this article has helped you make your home safe and clutter-free! Applying most of these tips to the process of downsizing inside your place guarantees that everything will go totally hassle-free! Also, keep in mind that if you're staging your home before a sale, decluttering will make it worthwhile!

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