Downsizing Tips and Tricks for Seniors

Let’s face it, no one particularly likes moving, other than the professionals who do it for a living. And if you’re downsizing to a smaller living space, it can be a daunting process deciding what to do with all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years. But take heart. Your new home may be smaller, but it’ll be much easier to manage. 

There won’t be as much stuff to take care of, for one thing. And instead of having to clean, maintain and repair your home, you can spend more time doing what you want: learning, creating, sharing and living your best life. 

At Broadview- Senior Living at Purchase College there are still have spacious residences available at preconstruction pricing, but you’ll have to hurry. For a look at floor plans, including one- and two-bedroom apartment homes and two-bedroom villas, visit independent living or contact us. 

To help you prepare for your move, here are 10 downsizing tips for seniors. The sooner you get started, the less stressful the process will be. You may even find it liberating to free yourself from items you no longer want or need. 

  1. Make a plan — If you have a moving date in mind, you can plan workdays to get the job done without exhausting yourself. Define goals for each workday on your calendar and write down who will need to be involved to accomplish those goals. Involve friends and relatives early so they can be ready to help when those days arrive.
  2. Start early — Give yourself time to approach the process methodically. Start months ahead of moving day and sort one room at a time. The key to downsizing is not finishing the process; it’s starting it. 
  3. Keep sorting sessions short — About two hours is ideal. Start with the simplest room first. If you start with the most complicated area, you may get discouraged and quit. Starting with a simple room helps build your confidence.
  4. Use the new space as a guide — When deciding what to take with you, it’s essential to know the measurements of your new living space. Taped off floor space in your current home may help you visualize where each item will fit in your new home. 
  5. Focus on the most-used items — Don’t go by the newest and the best; go by what you use on a regular basis. If you’re not sure, set the items aside, preferably out of sight, and see how you get along without them. You might be surprised how little you notice they’re gone.
  6. Identify why it’s important to you — Be able to articulate each item’s purpose. Is it necessary? Is there sentimental value to the item? Is it of significant financial value? Would a family member or friend appreciate it or use it?
  7. Sort items into five categories — Start with boxes or containers to separate items into five piles: keep, gift, donate, sell or throw away. Toss anything that’s chipped, broken or stained. Check with local donation centers to see which items they’ll accept; many donation centers offer free pickup, which can be a real timesaver. 
  8. Digitize photos and important documents — Consider hiring a company to digitize photos, memorabilia and collections that you won’t have space for in your new home. Important documents can also be digitized at a reasonable price, so you can have copies made to give to family members.
  9. Think twice before selling items on your own — Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, and other options are time-consuming when you’re trying to downsize a houseful of stuff. If you’re selling something of high value, consider getting it appraised by an auction house.
  10. Feeling overwhelmed? Call in the professionals — If you’re struggling, find yourself short on time, or simply prefer to have a professional help you decide what to do with your possessions, senior move managers are available to help. Services range from downsizing and space planning to packing and unpacking.

Rightsize to a residence that fits you perfectly.

For more information about our retirement community and available residences, contact us today. We’re always happy to answer your questions or schedule an appointment.