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Right-Sizing Your Life: Advice for Seniors on Downsizing and Planning a Move

Right-Sizing Your Life: Advice for Seniors on Downsizing and Planning a Move

Right-Sizing Your Life: Advice for Seniors on Downsizing and Planning a Move

Moving can be a traumatic experience for senior citizens, especially someone who’s recently lost a spouse and is suffering the emotional pain of such a profound loss. If you’ve decided to move on from the home you shared with your spouse, the experts recommend you begin by downsizing, going through your belongings carefully to determine what you can part with and what means too much to let go.

Downsizing is difficult, but it can have a purging effect that leaves you feeling renewed and prepared to move on with your life. Nevertheless, it can be an overwhelming experience if not carefully organized. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, consider asking someone close to you, a friend or family member who understands how important it is and how difficult it’s likely to be.

Get organized

Careful planning and a methodical approach can take a lot of the anxiety out of downsizing. Keep a planning notebook that includes to-do lists, a moving timeline, where you’ll place the furniture and belongings you’re taking with you.

One of the most important items in your notebook should be how you’ll organize your belongings. Set a start date for your downsizing and stick to it so you’re not tempted to put it off. Above all, take it easy – take a couple hours a day to get through it, going room by room, keeping lists of what you’re taking with you, what you’re going to throw away, and what you’ll donate. The idea is to simplify your life by reducing your belongings, not to exacerbate the pain you’ll doubtless experience as you work through the possessions accumulated over decades of a life spent with your spouse.

Be prepared to shed some tears along the way and take plenty of breaks so you can process your feelings. Consider starting months before you plan to move to give yourself plenty of time.


Refuse the refuse

Throw away everything that’s outdated and no longer necessary, including canceled checks, worn-out clothes and any papers that you can do without. Make liberal use of your computer’s scanner so that you can store any necessary documents on your hard drive. Set up an extra list for any of your children’s belongings they may want to hang onto and make sure they take them the next time they visit.

Senior move managers

If you find that the whole process is too much to handle on your own, consider hiring a senior move manager, a moving and organizing professional with expertise in helping seniors and their families navigate the psychological and physical challenges of relocating. Senior move managers can help you develop a moving plan, and help you get organized as moving day nears. They can help you take a strategic approach to downsizing, finding ways to auction or place into consignment for belongings you’re not going to keep. They can save you money and relieve much of the stress that goes with downsizing and moving.

Benefits of hiring a mover

Once you’ve been through downsizing and the emotional baggage that goes with it, there’s the stress of packing and organizing your move. If your budget allows, it’s worthwhile to hire professional movers. They’re expert at loading and unloading your belongings safely and efficiently, they have the right equipment (you don’t), and you can rest easy knowing your possessions will be insured.

Hiring moving company also frees you from the physical burden of packing and carrying heavy items. Bear in mind that peak moving season runs from April to September. It’s estimated that 80 percent of the 40 million Americans who move each year do so during this period. Plan ahead so you’re not hiring a moving company during their busiest time of year.

Remember, the more organized you can be, the easier downsizing and moving will be. That’s worth a lot when you consider the emotional angst you can expect throughout this process. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a loved one and look into moving companies while you’re in the planning stage.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

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