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Senior Living | 05/19/21
Looking around your home, a stranger might see a bunch of “stuff.” To you, many of those possessions—even the ones that are old and worn—are much more than things. They’re memories. That’s why the idea of downsizing can be such a challenge both physically and mentally.
Downsizing, especially when you’re transitioning from one stage of life to the next, can be both exciting and overwhelming. At Stonebridge at Montgomery, we offer downsizing services for seniors designed to guide you step-by-step on how to downsize to a senior living community.
It’s safe to say we’ve helped quite a few seniors make their move, so we have years of experience to give you advice on steps to start downsizing, including:
Our Move Ahead program provides downsizing services for seniors to simplify the process. Based on their expertise and years of seeing what works well for others, our move-in coordinators have compiled a list of tips on how to start downsizing for seniors who are considering a move to a senior living community.
Determine what resources you’ll need. If you’re selling your home, you’ll need a real estate agent. Other resources may include auctioneers or estate liquidators, home stagers, movers, and house cleaners. Your new community may be able to provide recommendations or referrals for these services. Also be sure to ask friends or family about businesses they’ve used and liked. You can also do some research online to find highly rated providers in your area. Remember, once you select a partner, be sure to get all details in writing, including what services will be provided, when, and how much they’ll cost.
Set your budget. When planning a move, it’s easy to lose sight of moving expenses while you focus on longer-range finances once you’re settled into your new home. Moving expenses can add up, so be sure to plan for all the details, including packing materials and any cleaning supplies not provided by your contracted services. Also take time to look into options for offsetting those expenses. For example, at Stonebridge, part of our downsizing services for seniors include help with your move—up to $2,500 of approved expenses.
Envision your new home. Mentally putting yourself in your new home is a great way to stay motivated and build your excitement through the tedious moving process. It’s also a practical way to help you start thinking about which belongings you’ll take to your new home and where they’ll go. Consider how your furniture fits your new floor plan and what you’ll need to sell or give away. If you’d like help deciding how to arrange everything so your new home will be attractive, tidy, and safe, know that this is another downsizing service for seniors who are new to Stonebridge. When it comes to other possessions you want to keep,, carefully consider your storage space and how much room you’ll have to keep your dearest treasures.
Create a manageable timeline. Moving is a big job, no matter what stage of life or transition inspires it. Give yourself plenty of time to tackle each task at a slow and steady pace so you don’t wear out physically or mentally. When you begin sorting your belongings, take on one room at a time. Our expert team suggests starting with a small space like a pantry or a bathroom. These rooms are less likely to have items with emotional ties, so you can establish a comfortable rhythm and process for deciding what to keep, what to give to loved ones, and what to donate or discard.
Give yourself permission to get sentimental. Sorting through a lifetime of memories is likely to bring up lots of feelings …that’s very normal. Allow yourself to enjoy and process those memories. Asking family members to help you sort and pack your belongings is a wonderful way to give a younger generation a look into your earlier years. When it comes to collections and items you hold dear, think about what you may be able to digitize to enjoy. For example, you might keep a few favorites from a collection of antique dolls and take digital pictures so you can continue to enjoy them after you’ve donated the rest.
You can find more information on the downsizing services for seniors available at Stonebridge at Montgomery by contacting us or downloading our complimentary workbook to record measurements, make lists, and start planning for the exciting retirement lifestyle that awaits.