Atlas Senior Living provides practical tips for downsizing decades of belongings.
Atlas manages senior living communities all over the southeastern United States and offers some advice on downsizing for seniors.
Are seniors really downsizing?
As the senior population reaches retirement age, more and more are finding that their home no longer fits their needs. Others are ready for a lifestyle change.
How do I know it’s time to downsize?
There are many reasons to downsize. A study by DePaul University found that, at any age, getting rid of clutter can lead to improved mental health, but seniors often find themselves with a unique set of circumstances that can make downsizing a necessity.
|Issue||How We Can Help|
|When you look around your house, do you have unused rooms that have become a catch-all for clutter?||You are ready for a smaller house. Your local Atlas community has a variety of right-sized floor plans just for you! An added bonus? Less rooms to clean!|
|As we age, mobility becomes a concern. Falling in bathrooms for example is a real threat.||Atlas communities are designed with senior-friendly bathrooms such as having grab bars or walk-in showers!|
|Change in medical needs can also initiate downsizing for seniors.||Whether you need to be closer to your doctor or you need 24-hour support, Atlas can help you. Our communities offer round-the-clock passionate care service.|
|Do you find yourself feeling lonely in your current neighborhood and wishing for companions your own age that you can really connect with?||Take heart! This is your opportunity to find a community of peers in the same stage of life. Atlas Senior Living communities offer a full schedule of social events and activities for their residents.|
Where do I start the downsizing process?
When you look around your home, the place you have lived for years, maybe decades, it is overwhelming to think about everything you need to do to prepare for your move. And it isn’t just physically overwhelming. It can be emotionally draining too. We at Atlas Senior Living have some suggestions to help you tackle the task.
- Start Early. You have accumulated belongings for decades, and you will want to take time to really savor them as you wander down memory lane.
- Figure out what you will absolutely need in your next home. This can be a good place to start. Obviously you will need your clothes and shoes, toiletries, etc. Once you can list your must haves, it becomes easier to make a determination about the necessity of other items.
- Start small. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. This process is a marathon not a sprint. You didn’t collect everything overnight, and you should expect it to take some time to sort through it all as well. Choose a room, or a closet, and start there.
- Organize your belongings into three categories: keep, donate, and trash. As you consider an item, you can choose to which category it belongs and place it accordingly. Keep what you will need at your next home, donate, or give away, what you won’t need but still has value, and pitch anything that is broken, outdated, or no one else will want.
- Make digital copies of your photos. Surely you have amassed quite the collection of photographs and other momentos over the years. Rather than keeping the hardcopies that take up a lot of space, scanning them and creating digital copies will allow you to keep them with you in your next home.
- Focus on what you are gaining, not what you are losing. This is a mantra that we hear over and over when discussing downsizing for seniors. We see it so often because it is true. When we focus on mourning our past lives, we forget that a whole new adventure awaits at our new destination.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Again, this is a huge undertaking, perhaps too much for one person. Whether family members, friends, or even a professional senior move manager, many hands make light work.
How Can Atlas Help Me Downsize?
Check with your local Atlas community. When you choose to move into an Atlas community, we offer a variety of ways to assist seniors with their move. For example, some of our communities partner with third-party organizations to offer seminars on downsizing, or even assist in the moving process.
With these tips, you can start heading in the right direction. Downsizing for seniors can be a daunting task, but with some patience, a little organization and the right frame of mind, it can be done.