Downsizing has many benefits – it can free up your financial resources and lessen the burden of tending to a large home. And if you’re moving to a senior living community like Harbour’s Edge, downsizing can help you right-size your lifestyle to better enjoy your new community.
If you are downsizing for a move into an independent living community, here are some ways to do so quickly, successfully and stress-free.
Having ample time to plan your move can help mitigate stress. Find the senior living community you plan to call home and ensure that your move-in date is far enough out that you have time to get your existing home in order. This gives you the transitional time you need to sort, pack and organize your things, and prevents making rushed decisions on what to keep, toss, donate or sell. It also enables you to mentally prepare for your fresh start.
Be Patient With the Process
Sorting through the belongings you’ve collected over the years – and parting with some – can be emotionally draining. To make the process more manageable, aim to spend a maximum of two hours a day decluttering.
Acknowledge and process these emotions and allow time to reminisce and reflect. Don’t rush as you sort through your things. Try to make it fun and relaxed, and take breaks throughout the process.
Start With Non-Sentimental Items
Begin your downsizing journey by getting rid of non-sentimental items, which will be easier to part with. Shred outdated documents, canceled checks and unneeded receipts. Throw away expired food, toiletries and medications. Go through your wardrobe and make a donation pile of the items you no longer wear or haven’t worn in more than a year.
Set aside a folder or bin for your important documents, like birth certificates, passports, deeds, wills, medical records, diplomas and more. Put them in a file cabinet or safe deposit box for safekeeping.
Once you’ve gotten rid of your unnecessary items, start going through your home room by room. Begin with the easiest room first, and sort your possessions into four categories with color-coordinated tags:
- Definitely keep. Items that are the most important or useful.
- Possibly keep. The things you’re not sure about and will need to revisit.
- Give away/sell. These are things you’d like to donate, give to a loved one or sell. Or items that your family or friends have left behind that you know they may want to get back. Create a list of these items and the people you want to give them to.
- Discard. Items you know you don’t want and won’t be valuable to someone else.
Once you’ve sorted your items, take action accordingly. Enlist help from your loved ones or a moving company to pack all of your keepsakes. Since each item is labeled, it will be easier to keeping everything organized
Finally, label each box according to its new room in your home. Items you use every day or will need immediately, like toiletries and fresh linens, should be packed last and labeled “open first.”
Donate Unneeded Items
Donate items in the “giveaway” pile to your local thrift store or a charitable organization that provides home furnishings for families in need. Knowing your prior possessions will help someone in need or are going to give delight to others can help you feel more positive about parting with them.
Some charities, like Habitat for Humanity and Salvation Army, offer free donation pick-up services. You can also delegate the donation, discarding and selling of these items to a loved one – they may help you host a yard sale or post them to an online selling platform.
Start Your New Adventure at Harbour’s Edge
Moving to an independent living community can make for a more fulfilling, enriching retirement – and the transition is much easier when you’re excited about your new home.
As a boutique senior living community in Delray Beach, Harbour’s Edge offers an array of thoughtful services and amenities. From delicious chef-prepared meals to landscaping and housekeeping services to enriching events and activities and beyond, our community is designed to help you thrive.
Wondering what life at Harbour’s Edge would look like for you? Contact us today to schedule a tour. If you decide our community is right for you, our move-in coordination can help with a smooth move.