Downsizing Today for an Easier Tomorrow


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Tired of all the hassles of homeownership? You're not alone. Millions of adults across the United States discard, declutter and downsize their lives. Some simply want to make the move to a lifestyle that focuses more on experiences and less on possessions. For retirees, many find that moving to an independent living community to be the perfect solution. This type of downsizing can make a world of difference in providing a carefree lifestyle, but it also can relieve the worry about future healthcare needs.

If a move to independent living appeals to you, but the idea of scaling back stresses you out, don't fret. Instead of seeing it as downsizing, reframe your mindset and see it as rightsizing for an easier tomorrow. There are ways to approach the process that can minimize the stress. Start with these 10 tips on downsizing!

Don't Try to Do the Whole House at Once

Paring down material possessions is similar to losing weight. We can't lose 100 pounds overnight. Approach the task on a room-by-room basis and only spend a few hours a day sorting through possessions.

Change Decisions Into Yes or No Questions

When trying to decide on what items to keep, ask yourself if you have used an item within the past six months. Question if you want to keep it because of the memories associated with the item. Think about if you anticipate using it in the future. These types of yes-or-no questions will help you speed up the sorting process and feel accomplished with your quick progress.

Re-Visit the Maybe Pile

If you're indecisive about one of your items, you're more than likely going to keep it. If the "maybe pile" begins to grow too large, revisit it again and apply the yes-or-no questions. Taking a second look often helps you see items in a whole new light. If an item is already boxed away, it probably won't receive a second thought. This out-of-sight, out-of-mind situation can work against your decluttering and discarding efforts

Don't forget to include paperwork when sorting through the "maybe pile". Many people have multiple boxes of records, papers from previous homes, and other out-of-date documents. Take the time to sort through documents that you have kept and shred the papers you don't need.

Create a List of What You Love

If there are items you can't live without, make a list of them. This type of "wish-list" assures that you'll keep the items you most love and make it easier to discard items that aren't quite as special.

Consider Having Valuable Items Appraised

Family heirlooms, jewelry and antiques can sometimes prove to be a hidden treasure. Before moving, have an appraiser evaluate items that you suspect may be valuable.

If It's Broken, Toss it

If something has a chip, a stain, or is broken, it's probably time to let go of it. Think of damaged items as extra weight that slows down the process of downsizing or "rightsizing" your life.

Consider Hiring a Professional

Senior moving managers who specialize in helping retirees can be a major help during downsizing. If you anticipate having a hard time parting ways with some of your possessions, a professional can handle the process from sorting and packing, all the way to hiring the movers.

Curb Your Clutter

Do you have some things that you would just like to be taken away? Try setting them on the curb with a free sign. You might also consider having a garage sale. Not only will you get rid of unwanted items, but people actually pay for the privilege of hauling them away for you! A garage sale or free curb offer also provides you the satisfaction of knowing that your items will live on and provide others with as much pleasure as they did for you.

Consign or Donate

For items that are still in good condition, look for charities that could benefit from them. This can include furniture, clothing, and even automobiles. If you're able to recycle an item, that would be an environmentally friendly way to discard it. If your items are still good quality or almost next-to-new, consider taking them to a consignment store.

Think About Where You're Moving

Have you decided to move to a condo or an independent living community? If so, you certainly won't need the lawn mower or shovels in your garage.

Measure out the cabinet space of your new residence to see how much you actually have room for. You won't need extra tools and utensils, especially if you're moving to an independent living apartment or home where one or more meals a day are usually provided. Similarly, you can get rid of towels you never used and all those extra cosmetic bags you picked up over the years from retailers.

Live Stress-Free at Arbor Oaks at Crestview

For most retirees, downsizing brings a new sense of freedom and lightness to their lives. The process of shedding unnecessary material items often provides a sense of relief as well as excitement about the future. After the process is complete, many report waking up feeling rested and free from responsibility, almost like being a kid again!

If this sounds right for you, you'll have a lot in common with the residents at Arbor Oaks Independent Living Community at Crestview. It's a place where you'll find yourself growing, making new friends, and going on new adventures. In this "rightsized" community, you'll find many opportunities to grow bolder as you grow older.