Top 10 Tips for Moving and Downsizing

Senior Living
Senior Adult Couple Packing

Posted: April 16, 2018

President Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” This same philosophy applies to downsizing and moving – the time spent planning to downsize and move makes it all manageable.

As you think about moving yourself or a loved one to a retirement community, there are good and bad ways to approach this major life change.

Having a plan and timeline in place is important for any downsizing and move. Outlining what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by helps relieve stress and make the process less overwhelming.

Here are the top 10 tips to help you go through a move:

Do:

  • Keep the best and let go of the rest.
  • Let family and friends know you are downsizing and if you have items they can take.
  • Think and stay positive – be confident with your downsize decisions and don’t second guess yourself.
  • Do it when it’s your choice and you have a say in where your possessions go.
  • Enlist help (friends, family, your church group or professionals) – you’re not in this alone.
  • Start small- make a plan to go through one drawer a day.

Don’t:

  • Put it off for a rainy day – otherwise, it won’t happen.
  • Don’t donate immediately, since what you think may not have value could – pros can give you an overall assessment.
  • Don’t assume family will want everything – or anything, for that matter.
  • Don’t try to downsize in a rush or when you are in a crisis.

Downsizing and moving require compassion, patience and being a good listener. Downsizing and moving aren’t just about getting boxes and items from point A to B, it can raise a mix of emotions from feeling excited to feeling overwhelmed.

If you take the process one step at a time and try not to “eat the whole elephant in one bite,” you truly can have an enjoyable experience with downsizing and moving.


Written by Cierra Olmsted, the owner and operator of A Move Handled With Care. Cierra worked for Christian Living Communities until 2015 and now helps older adults manage their move.

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