TIPS: Downsizing While Staying Organized

Stephanie Oliver
Published on October 1, 2018

TIPS: Downsizing While Staying Organized

Whether you’re a homeowner, renter, senior, or about to move in to your first new home, having to downsize your home or belongings is simply a part of life for many of us.  This article, written by Lucille Rosetti, provides for some tips (and great links) that can be helpful, whatever stage of life you find yourself in.

“For many seniors, the benefits of downsizing to a smaller home are myriad. Not only does it allow you to remain active and vital in your own home, but it will help you stay safe and provide extra money at the same time.

Having a smaller space to take care of also means less housework, which means you’ll have more time to focus on the things you enjoy doing. There are several things to consider when you downsize, however, including the more difficult aspects. If you have lived in the same home for a number of years, it’s possible you’ve accumulated a lot of belongings that simply won’t fit in the new place. You are likely having to weed out things you no longer need or use, in addition to rehoming family pieces that could be too large or a bad fit for your new place.

To keep your sanity and to keep things moving along, it’s important to stay organized throughout the process. You’re about to start a new chapter of your life, but it’s still new and uncharted territory. Just remember that keeping clutter to a minimum in your new place is the best way to prevent accidents as well as stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. That’s right; too many items in one space can actually be detrimental to your mental health.

Keep reading for some wonderful tips on how to get started with a downsize.

Hire a pro

If you have a lot of belongings, or if you have a hobby or job that requires you to keep a lot of different tools around, getting organized is essential. One of the best ways to do this is to hire a professional who can come in and help you find ways to maximize your space without sacrificing the things you need. Keep in mind that the average national cost to hire a professional organizer is around $380. It also helps to get three estimates before you settle on anyone

Hold onto your things in a different way

Physical collections, such as books, records, and photo albums, can take up a lot of space and can be very time-consuming and physically difficult to pack up and move. There are options, however; you can invest in an e-reader and download all your favorite books, then donate the physical ones to a local school or shelter. Photos can be scanned and uploaded onto the computer, where you can keep them on a hard drive and store the albums. Records can be switched over to digital music files (if you have the right equipment). Keeping the things you love will help make the downsize a little easier, and will allow you to save space.

Ask for help

Moving is a big job, especially when it comes to packing up all your belongings. It’s important to ask for help from family and friends who can go through items with you and make decisions about whether you should keep them or donate, sell, or trash them. This can be an emotional process, especially if you’ve recently lost a spouse or partner, so having support will be extremely helpful. For less personal items, such as clothing, keep in mind that non-seasonal items that don’t get much use can easily be donated to a local thrift shop.

Look for creative storage solutions

Whether you need a place to keep your towels or some extra storage in the kitchen, it’s important to look for creative ways to keep items up off the floor and countertops. If you have baskets or bins you no longer use, give them a new purpose by using them to organize and store items out of the way, or consider using the space beneath your cabinets to the best advantage.

Downsizing can be hugely beneficial, but it can also be a big job. Keep it from becoming stressful by staying organized, asking for help, and remembering the best ways to keep your needs — both now and in the future — in mind.”

Lucille, and more tips for seniors, can be found at The Bereaved

Photo
via Pixabay by Geralt