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Acacia Creek - How to Start Downsizing

How to Start Downsizing for Seniors

Decluttering and organizing isn’t just about making space in your home. It helps simplify your life, calms you down, and makes everything feel a lot better. If only the job itself wasn’t so stressful!

Just peering into an overstuffed closet, a double-stacked bookshelf, or a room that’s become overgrown can be so overwhelming that it squashes even your best intentions. Particularly for seniors or those approaching retirement, downsizing is both an important and sometimes emotional job. Getting rid of old possessions may be the key to right-sizing for the life you lead now, but it can be painful to part with items of sentimental value.

Many times, seniors find that it’s difficult to part with objects that represent memories of a lifetime. This can be a psychological barrier that holds people back from making important and healthy changes in their lives. Sometimes, downsizing with the help of family members can open up the opportunity to share the memories, making it easier to let the “things” go. Or, family members may want to keep the items, relieving you of the trouble of getting rid of it. Saying “goodbye” by wearing the sweater or using the mug one last time can be helpful as well.

So don’t just wander into a job like this. Prepare yourself the way you would for any big, life-changing project.

Plan to Downsize

For starters, don’t wait to be inspired. Schedule time on your calendar—just like any other appointment or commitment—to do the work. Choosing a start and stop time will make it feel more manageable. Goals help, too. Plan to fill a certain number of boxes or empty a set number of drawers, or get a closet down to just a select number of items.

Equip Yourself

Next, make sure you have the right tools. Get boxes, trash bags, labels, markers, and supplies for wiping down shelves and drawers so you have everything you need close by while you work. Lastly, before you jump in, take photos of each room or space. A picture is an easy way to keep a lot of memories, and it may be fun to compare to the decluttered space when you’re done.

Say Goodbye

Another way to make this process easier on yourself is to avoid emotional, sentimental, and even practical excuses for keeping things you don’t need or want anymore. Cut out the guilt. Forget who it’s from, how much it cost, or what someone else might think. If you don’t want it, don’t need it, or don’t use it anymore, let it go. Don’t save things for the next generation if they haven’t asked for them. Get rid of extras. Keep a back-up, but not a collection.

More Decluttering Tips

De-stress while you declutter:

  • Play music or an audiobook while you work
  • Set an alarm to time your work in each space to keep you focused
  • Take short breaks between areas
  • Keep a bottle of water and an easy snack close by
  • Create a “maybe” box to speed up decision-making

ACACIA CREEK RETIREMENT COMMUNITY inspires residents to live an active, meaningful life. Our mission as a senior community is to enrich the independence, well-being, and security of our residents through exceptional services and care based on Masonic values.

To learn more about Acacia Creek or our senior housing opportunities, contact us at WWW.ACACIACREEK.ORG/CONTACT

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