Downsizing isn’t easy, and you shouldn’t do it all by yourself. No matter how long you’ve been in your house, it can feel like an overwhelming task. But it doesn’t have to be. With assistance, the process of downsizing, “rightsizing” and relocating to a new home can be easier than you imagine.
The National Association of Senior Move Managers is a not-for-profit, professional association of organizations dedicated to assisting adults and families with this process. With extensive, practical knowledge and expert organizational skills, the NASMM recommends 10 ways to downsize your current home and de-stress your future move:
- Start Early—End Happy
It’s never too early to begin the downsizing process. Begin by focusing on typical problem areas such as the attic, basement, garage, closets and file cabinets.
- Get Generous
Since you can’t take everything to your new home, now is the time to make arrangements to “gift” some of your treasures to special people in your life.
- Save Your Memories
Consider ways to preserve family photos and stories, with a customized process of audio and video recordings called Life-Storying. Copy special photos on CDs or try scrapbooking.
- New Looks for Books
Downsize your collection. Consider donating to libraries or senior centers, or sell to used bookstores.
- Use It Up … Don’t Move It Out
Take an inventory of your canned goods, frozen foods and paper products. Plan to use as many of these products as you can before moving, or think about passing them on to a local food pantry.
- Recycle the Toxins
Take time to put household, yard and automotive cleaning products in a box and find out where to dispose of hazardous items in your area.
- Don’t Lose Touch
Create a list of people, places and utilities/services that need to be notified of your upcoming change in address.
- Space Plan Ahead
Most Senior Move Managers can provide you with a customized floor plan of your new residence. A floor plan will help you determine the pieces of furniture that will fit in your new home and the best location of each.
- Pack a Survival Bag
Put together a bag for move day. It might include personal needs (medications, eyeglasses, toiletries, change of clothes, important papers, etc); kitchen needs (snacks, drinks, folding chair, disposable cups and plates; basic tools (hammer, screwdriver, flashlight, tape, etc); cleaning supplies (sponge, roll of paper towels, soap); and payment for mover.
- Ask for Help