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Eight tips to downsize with confidence.

Downsizing can be a significant step toward a more manageable and fulfilling lifestyle for seniors. As many older adults contemplate the move to personal care, downsizing simplifies daily living and aligns with their evolving needs. 

Moving into a smaller space presents unique challenges, and many people don’t know where to begin. From making strategic plans to understanding the emotional aspects of parting with possessions, these professional tips can help you downsize with confidence.

1. Make a Plan

Downsizing isn’t just about getting rid of things — it’s a thoughtful process that requires planning. Begin by scheduling specific days dedicated to sorting through items. These days should be interspersed with quieter days that allow for reflection on what you’ve sorted. This approach helps manage the emotional and physical demands of downsizing.

2. Create a Detailed List

Before sorting through your belongings, list the essential items you want to bring to your new home. You can make this list alone or ask a loved one to help. Listing helps prioritize what is truly important and what aligns with your new lifestyle in a personal care community.

3. Start With the Unsentimental Items

Begin the downsizing process with items without sentimental value, such as random kitchen utensils or old magazines. Starting here helps build momentum and makes it easier to make decisions about more sentimental items later.

4. Hire Professional Help

If the process feels overwhelming, consider hiring professionals who specialize in helping seniors downsize. Many personal care communities can provide recommendations for trusted experts who can facilitate the process, making it less stressful and more efficient.

5. Frequent Visits to Your New Home

Spend time in your new living space before officially moving in. Visualize where your favorite items will go and determine what will realistically fit and what won’t. This can help you decide what to keep and what to let go of as you prepare for the move.

6. Evaluate Each Item’s Purpose

Ask yourself if each item serves a purpose in your new home. Alternatively, follow Marie Kondo’s advice from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by asking, “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is no, it might be time to part with it.

7. Hold Off on Disposing of Items

Instead of immediately throwing things away, set them aside out of sight. This strategy allows you to determine whether you genuinely miss an item or can live without it. Often, you’ll find that living with less brings more joy and less stress.

8. Embrace the Journey

Downsizing is about more than just reducing the number of your possessions. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the memories associated with your belongings and to honor the life you’ve lived. Allow yourself to enjoy the process and the new freedom it brings.

At Watermark Retirement Communities®, we help you live your best life and thrive. Transitioning to a smaller space doesn’t have to be a burden — it can be a liberating part of your journey into a new phase of life.

Read more about the benefits of downsizing in our Moving Made Easy guide.

A Helping Hand Ready When You Are

At Watermark, our residents lead enriching and rewarding lives with confidence. Enjoy total peace of mind knowing that expert care is always just a moment away, allowing you to focus on the things that matter most to you.


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