It may be that you are an adult child, who needs to help your parents downsize and move or you need to move from your large home to one that is smaller. Is it overwhelming to think about starting the process of downsizing and relocating? Wouldn’t it be easier to just toss it all out in the trash and start over again?
Many seniors and their adult children are faced with the task of downsizing and relocating to a smaller home, apartment, or retirement community. But, instead of throwing all of your precious memories in the trash, Carolyn J. Harbert, the president of OHMISS Concierge, recommends that you make a plan to start the process.
If you have several years of accumulation, it can be emotionally and physically overwhelming. Remember when you moved in and thought that you could never fill all that space? Now it is an attic, garage or basement that hasn’t been emptied for decades. This can be a daunting task. It is an issue facing many seniors, baby boomers and healthcare providers. Adult children may be geographically distant or part of the sandwich generation that are overwhelmed with trying to manage their own lives while raising children and managing careers. As much as they would like to help their parents, they may not be able to.
Consider these points when starting the process of downsizing and moving on.
- A good way to start is to get someone to help you through the downsizing process because it can be overwhelming. You need help and support.
- Think about starting now, even if you don’t plan on moving for a while. It can take some time to sort things out of your attic, basement, garage and the rest of the house.
- Consider the amount of space you will have in your new home. This will help eliminate moving items that will not physically fit into the new space. Think about what you will really need. Will you need place settings for 12 or will six or eight work? Do you really need three turkey roasters? When was the last time you made Thanksgiving dinner?
- Why not give pieces of furniture or other possessions to family or friends who have admired them for years? If your granddaughter has admired your china hutch for years, why not give it to her now and see the joy and happiness that it brings her today.
- Adult children need to pick up their stuff, whether you have it in a spare bedroom, attic or garage. The days of rental storage business is over unless you have decided at this time to go into that line of business. Again, the kids need to get their stuff out of your home. Set a time frame and stick to it.
- If you feel overwhelmed looking at a pile of papers that you need to sort through, start with just 15 minutes. Set a timer for 15 minutes, sort through the pile, and then stop working when the timer rings. Remember every item you own requires your time, energy, maintenance and money. Decide if the item is worth keeping.
While downsizing can be emotionally and physically overwhelming, the process can be achieved through planning and organization. Taking it one step at a time can not only make the downsizing process easier but rewarding as well as you move to your new home.
Carolyn J. Harbert is the president of OHMISS Concierge. Reach her at (813) 636-9700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.