A little bit of Autumn cleaning
Crisp, autumn air and changing leaves bring about feelings of new beginnings - a perfect time to talk about downsizing!
Even if a move or downsize isn’t in your immediate future, proactively starting to go through your belongings is always beneficial.
Here are some tips for downsizing:
1. Take your time: go one room at a time and take breaks when necessary. If you are helping mom or dad to downsize, remember this is an emotional process for them and may become overwhelming quickly. Start early and continue often to promote more rational and realistic decisions.
2. Remember whose life is being downsized: if you are helping mom or dad downsize, remember it is their life and their memories that are being sorted through. You may not understand the connection they have with objects. Instead try redirecting them by offering the items they can’t seem to part with by passing the objects down to children or grandchildren who would appreciate the sentimental value.
3. Set realistic expectations: if it is a move to a smaller apartment or home, make sure you know the exact measurements and create a floor plan. This will encourage more reasonable decisions when choosing what furniture should stay and what may need to be donated.
4. If donating, research the right charitable organization: not all charities are created equal and finding the right fit for your donations may make you or your loved one feel better about parting with treasured items.
Downsizing can also be thought of as right-sizing. For older adults starting to experience cognitive decline creating a smaller and more manageable space may lead to improved quality of life. The freedom from cleaning a multiple room house and mowing a large lawn will allow for more energy to be invested in enjoyable hobbies. At first the idea of downsizing may feel like a loss of independence when in fact it creates a new world of freedom from the stress of managing a household.