4 Great Tips for Downsizing

For Sale sign in front of house

Did you know… in July we celebrate National Give Something Away Day! Never heard of it before? It’s one of those fun, slightly made up holidays you find listed on a calendar of fun things to celebrate. So why mention it? Well one way to celebration #NationalGiveSomethingAwayDay is to do a little bit of downsizing prep! The word downsizing often brings about feelings of stress, anxiety and dread. Whether you’re in the middle of helping your mom pack up your childhood home to get it ready to sell, or you are the senior having to part with the treasured items you’ve collected throughout stages of your life- downsizing can be challenging.

It’s important to shift your perspective and keep a positive state of mind as you begin to slowly downsize your life. One way to keep a positive approach is to remember that giving something away can make you feel really good. By donating furniture or clothing you are able to provide something for someone less fortunate than you.

Even if a move or downsize isn’t in your immediate future, proactively starting to go through your belongings is always beneficial.

Here are some tips for downsizing:

1. Take your time: go one room at a time and take breaks when necessary. If you are helping mom or dad to downsize, remember this is an emotional process for them and may become overwhelming quickly. Start early and continue often to promote more rational and realistic decisions.

2. Remember whose life is being downsized: if you are helping mom or dad downsize, remember it is their life and their memories that are being sorted through. You may not understand the connection they have with objects. Instead try redirecting them by offering the items they can’t seem to part with by passing the objects down to children or grandchildren who would appreciate the sentimental value.

3. Set realistic expectations: if it is a move to a smaller apartment or home, make sure you know the exact measurements and create a floor plan. This will encourage more reasonable decisions when choosing what furniture should stay and what may need to be donated.

4. If donating, research the right charitable organization: not all charities are created equal and finding the right fit for your donations may make you or your loved one feel better about parting with treasured items.

Downsizing can also be thought of as right-sizing. For older adults starting to experience cognitive decline creating a smaller and more manageable space may lead to improved quality of life. The freedom from cleaning a multiple room house and mowing a large lawn will allow for more energy to be invested in enjoyable hobbies. At first the idea of downsizing may feel like a loss of independence when in fact it creates a new world of freedom from the stress of managing a household.

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Discover life at a Northbridge community

If you’re considering senior living for yourself or a family member, we hope you’ll visit one of our communities. You’ll find a maintenance-free, activity-filled and engaging lifestyle to help support your wellness goals.

You’ll also discover many benefits in a Northbridge Senior Living community, including our Signature Program S.T.A.R. Club (Sharp Thinking, Active Residents) – which offers our residents several activities to participate in with others, including:

  • Daily exercise group
  • Walking club
  • Tai Chi & yoga
  • Nutritional classes
  • Library and book club
  • Museum outings
  • Artists in residence program
  • Multi-generational music
  • Genealogy Generations

If you are considering senior living as the right choice for yourself or a loved one, we invite you to Find a Northbridge Community near you to learn more. We look forward to getting to know you!

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