The idea of downsizing is, without a doubt, overwhelming. If you’ve already been through this process, you might be saying “been there, done that,” or maybe you’re getting ready to say, “heading there, doing that” sometime soon. The challenge of fitting the contents of a suburban home into an apartment is a huge project both physically and emotionally. The mere thought of downsizing can make anyone feel stressed. Taking the first step is often the hardest. But there’s light at the end of the downsizing tunnel, and it starts with two words: organization and support.
Downsizing brings to mind an old expression: how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Here are a few tips on how to digest the enormous elephant that is downsizing.
This article in The New York Times outlines six tips to help you manage the concept of downsizing:
- Write some organizing time on your calendar- treat it like a dentist appointment. You’re less likely to break an appointment if it’s written on your paper calendar or entered into your electronic datebook.
- Set a timer to get started- if you know you can stop after 15 minutes, you’ll be more likely to start.
- Start small, even if it’s matching up a cup with a saucer. Matched cups and saucers will lead to an entirely organized shelf, which leads to a cabinet and then a room.
- Get a friend to help. Make a Zoom or Facetime date to have someone consult with you on what to keep and what to get rid of.
- Fill a trash bag once a week; the sense of accomplishment will be infectious. You won’t want to stop at one bag.
- Call and book a donation pickup for the next day-from furniture to clothes; it’s a good feeling to know someone will be using things you no longer need.
For more helpful tips, check out this AARP article:
- Start early- don’t wait until the house is listed or worse, once the movers are booked. Let the decluttering begin.
- Have a plan; tackle the most lived-in rooms first and work your way to garage and storage areas.
- Sort everything into four piles: keep, donate, give to family members and throw away.
Get Professional Help
When it comes to support, it’s always a good idea to turn to the pros. A new industry grew out of the downsizing trend: senior move management companies. You simply call a company, and they have a staff to help you every step of the way.
But there are so many senior moving management companies, how do you choose? You can count on Eastcastle Place to help, of course. We work with various area organizations, including A Gift of Time.
And we’re proud to be bringing in the experts to offer advice.
One local senior move management company, Segues, has been helping Wisconsin seniors with relocation projects since 1999. Dawn Eyre, the owner of Segues, shared her knowledge and experience with all of us during our downsizing Webinar on February 17. Contact us for a link to view this valuable information!