There are several reasons you might want to downsize your belongings later in life. Perhaps you’re moving to an assisted living community that can’t house all your possessions. Or maybe you’ve simply grown tired of the excess clutter that can accumulate in life. Either way, downsizing your belongings doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right mindset and preparation, downsizing can be a fun and freeing activity.
At Cambridge Court, we understand the importance of making the community feel like home for each resident. Although residents are encouraged to bring their pets and personal items if possible, it’s understandable that you might not have room for a lifetime’s worth of furniture and knickknacks. So if you’re looking to lighten your load, here are some smart tips for downsizing in your later years.
Good intentions will only get you so far when it comes to downsizing. Between tough decisions and memories sparked by sentimental items, it’s easy to get distracted during the process. But don’t fret. If you want to ensure a successful and easy process, there are a few simple steps you can follow.
You don’t have to wait until you have a moving date to start downsizing your belongings. If you plan on moving to a smaller place any time in the future, start downsizing as soon as possible. Starting early allows you the freedom to set your own pace and invest a lot of thought in the process.
If you start early, you can also start small. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, take small steps every day. It might not feel like you’re doing much by adding one shirt to your donation pile, but those small steps add up over time.
Once you’re on a roll, it can be easy to start rapidly throwing items into your throwaway pile without a second glance. But acting too quickly and without thought can leave you feeling emotional after it’s too late. Don’t be afraid to really appreciate items you’re leaving behind, particularly if they have emotional value to you.
Odds are you’re going to need a little help with a project like this. So don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help. With a few refreshments and some good music, downsizing can turn into a party quickly. Working with your loved ones also gives them the opportunity to take certain items off of your hands. Not to mention, it’s the perfect excuse to spend some time together.
Before you begin the downsizing process, understanding your goals is important. For example, if your goal is to move into a senior living community, you’ll want to know the room measurements and what items you’re allowed to bring. If you’re downsizing to clear out old clutter, you’ll have different goals.
Even if you’re downsizing out of necessity, there are health benefits associated with decluttering your space. When unneeded or unwanted items start to pile up, they can cause you to feel irritated or stressed out. Naturally, getting rid of said items is a huge stress relief. Other benefits of decluttering include:
If you’re still receiving piles of paper bills and physical checks, you might want to consider going digital. Receiving direct deposits and e-bills will reduce your paper clutter and ensure you have access to all your financial information in one spot. Even physical photos can be phased out in favor of digital photos on your phone or tablet.
Additionally, not all clutter is physical. If your existing laptop or tablet is cluttered with digital files, you might also consider downsizing there.
If you find yourself with quality items you don’t wish to keep, it can be tough to decide what to do with them. Luckily, you have a handful of options.
If you’re in the Kearney, Nebraska, area, there are plenty of options for donating clothes and household items. You’ll find several donation locations near the Cambridge Court community, including Mission Avenue.
It’s not uncommon to find unopened or rarely used gifts in the depths of your closet. These long-forgotten items might not spark joy in you, but maybe someone you know will love them. Don’t be afraid to re-gift items during your decluttering. After all, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
It’s never bad to make a little extra money when you’re planning on moving. If you have good-condition furniture or electronics, you might consider re-selling them online or at a yard sale.
Regardless of your reason for downsizing, the process can have a positive impact on your life. So don’t wait — get started today.