Downsizing Tips For Seniors

5 Creative Downsizing Tips for Seniors

For seniors who are ready to downsize, there are many options available. Perhaps you are moving from a house to a smaller home or apartment, or to a retirement community instead. Whichever you choose, the transition will involve paring down belongings to accommodate a smaller physical space. To make the process easier in retirement, here are five creative strategies.

1. Only Create Two Piles: Yes or No

As you go through household items, the number of memories that will crop up will likely be many. It might be tempting to create a “maybe” pile!

But a more effective strategy for reducing the number of items is to stick to only two piles. One is “yes” (keep), and one is “no” (toss, recycle, or give away).

As you pick up each item, ask yourself if you have used it within the past year. If not, why would you pack it up to take to the new residence?

2. Invite Family Members Over

Rather than going it alone, consider inviting kids and grandchildren over to help you with the packing process. Not only can having more people around help you feel supported during this life transition, but you will also have bonding time.

While they are there, share some of the stories behind your favorite mementos. This loving atmosphere is a wonderful way to spend the days leading up to the move.

3. Take Photos of Keepsakes

If you have large collections of figurines or something else, they will take up valuable space in your smaller residence and likely stay in boxes there. You still want to hold onto the associated memories but simply won’t have the storage room. What to do?

The creative solution is to keep some and take photographs of the rest, rather than keeping them all. Then, print out the pics and create a photo book to look through every time you want to remember the good times associated with the possessions.

Box up your photos

4. Use Clear Bags

If you plan to store items in bags, use clear ones temporarily. The concept here is, well, transparent (excuse the pun!).

Choosing clear rather than black trash bags allows you to see what is in each one immediately. Otherwise, it’s a guessing game, and you might accidentally toss the wrong one.

5. Hire a Professional

Enlisting the help of an expert organizer can save you a lot of stress while downsizing. Rest assured that ClutterBGone involves you in all plans and decisions, only moving forward with your approval.

We work around your schedule and lifestyle, and we can help you unbox after moving day in addition to before it. Finally, our friendly organizer can help you bring touches of home to the new place so that you can still enjoy the beloved memories made over the years.

Conclusion on Downsizing

Deciding what to keep can be difficult, no matter your age. But the time you take to do so can help make moving to a smaller place or seniors’ community easier as stress-inducing clutter won’t surround you.

downsizing

Why Downsizing isn’t Just for Empty Nesters

Are you thinking about downsizing or moving to a smaller home? Even if you’re not an empty nester, there are still plenty of great reasons to do so.

Save Money

When you move to a house with less space than your previous one, a major benefit that many people experience is greater cash flow. You will have smaller mortgage payments than before to put toward other things, such as saving money or paying down debts. If you’re significantly reducing the living space, you might even be able to pay cash for the new abode from the profits of your last one.

Another way your family will potentially benefit financially is by having lower utility bills. They will be greatly reduced because you won’t have as much space to heat or cool as before. Thus, if you’re looking to save money, downsizing can be a great plan.

downsizing

Less Stress and Effort

Does maintaining a big house overwhelm you? From cleaning multiple bathrooms to mowing the lawn, painting touchups, siding repair, and countless other tasks, there is a lot to keep up with as a homeowner of a large property. Each season comes with its own set of home improvement activities.

By moving to a smaller home, you can reduce the stress that accompanies a big workload. Having a smaller area to clean indoors, as well as a smaller garden and grass to maintain can free you up for the things you’d rather be doing instead.

Whether you want to try a new sport, read more books, or simply enjoy resting after a busy day, having more time for the things you enjoy is a great reason to consider downsizing. Having less to clean and manage also is a great idea for those who have health or mobility limitations.

More Reasons to Downsize Your Home

There are even more potential benefits to downsizing that you could enjoy soon. For example, you will likely find that you buy fewer things for the home than before, simply because you have less room to store the possessions.

Buying fewer items puts more money in your wallet or in your bank account for retirement. Speaking of the golden years, you might want to downsize a few years before you plan to stop working. That way, you can save money to ensure you have a comfortable retirement.

How to Downsize Properly

Now that you’re looking forward to what’s ahead, what is the best way to downsize? It begins with decluttering, and ideally doing so three months in advance of the move.

Begin with the big furniture items, such as couches and tables, and decide what will fit into your smaller home. Parting with extra items now will save you from having to pay to either move them or to keep them into a storage locker. Consider donating gently-used items to help others.

Next, go through your belongings room by room, deciding what to keep, sell, toss, or donate. Our professional organizers make moving less stressful by helping you every step of the way, from organizing and packing at your residence to unpacking and settling in at the new one.

We can even help you organize the home so that it looks the best when you first put it up for sale. Find out more when you contact us today!

downsizing and moving

Downsizing and Moving? Top Items to Throw Away

An important part of the process of downsizing and moving is determining what you want to bring with you to the new home. This decision is even more critical when simply downsizing, whether it is during retirement or another stage of life, as there is less space for physical items. But deciding what to keep and what to toss isn’t an easy one. With that in mind, we’ve created this guide to help you.

Try to Donate or Sell Rather than Toss

Instead of putting items in the garbage, donate them whenever possible, whether it be to family, friends, or charity. Another option is to sell gently-used items using a local online marketplace. If the object is broken or not in good condition, however, it’s likely a candidate for the trash, unless it is a special item for a recycling and disposal facility, such as an old TV.

downsizing and moving

4 Items to Discard

When you begin the downsizing and moving process, start your donation pile by collecting these four types of physical items:

1.      Old Towels and Sheets

Look through your linen closet to find towels and sheets you haven’t taken off the shelf in six months or longer. The chances are good that you’ve had some of them for several years; they might be frayed or look worn from age. Ask yourself how many towels you need, and the chances are good that you will want to part with some of them.

2.      Unworn Clothes

If you haven’t worn it within the last four seasons, then you likely don’t need it. From pants that are too small to itchy sweaters, there are a lot of things you might be holding onto that are only taking up room in the closet. If you’re reluctant to throw something away, try wearing it. If you can see yourself regularly wearing it in the future, then it’s a keeper. If not, add it to the donation pile.

3.      Spices Past Their Shelf Life

Different types of spices have different expiry dates and using them beyond their freshness date will detract rather than add to dishes. For example, ground spices can last about three years. If it no longer has a distinct smell or vibrant colour, then the chances are good that it is beyond the best-before date. This spice jar is only taking up room in the kitchen cabinet, rather than being useful.

4.      Old Items without Significance

You may hold onto things from childhood simply because you’ve had them for years. But if you don’t have an emotional tie to these crafts, school projects, and other items, then you’ll probably be fine with letting them go. If they are things from past friendships or partners, you might even feel better after tossing those things as doing so frees you from those ties.

How You Feel When You Purge

Getting rid of things when downsizing can help you release stress, especially if you were feeling overwhelmed by the clutter around the house. There is less stuff to move too, which makes moving day more manageable. Finally, you’ll feel great knowing that everything you are taking to your next home is something you have a use for or cherish for sentimental reasons.

Get more help with downsizing by contacting our organizational experts. It doesn’t have to be a scary experience; stay excited about what’s to come and enjoy a home without clutter when a professional is helping you.

Downsizing Your Home

5 Reasons to Hire a Personal Organizer when Downsizing Your Home

Thinking about downsizing your home along with all of the possessions you have accumulated over the years can feel overwhelming. Whether you want to stay in your current home or downsize into a smaller home, the decluttering process intimidates many. Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone. A professional organizer can help make the process much easier.

1. Finding Where to Start

Often the hardest thing to do is to begin the process. While you have good intentions, selecting which room to begin to organize first or how to go about doing it can be daunting. If it feels like too much, it’s common to think, “I’ll just do it another day.”

A professional organizer can help you if you feel like you’re not able to start the project and continue with it. That way you can progress to your new home or enjoy your current one more.

Downsizing Your Home

2. Help with Moving

Many people do not realize that ClutterBGone’s team of experts do more than reorganize a room. We also can provide valuable assistance before, during, and after the moving process. For example, we can:

  • Customize the floor plan of your future home
  • Develop storage systems for your home
  • Arrange for items to go to donation centers, family, or elsewhere for you
  • Interview movers for you
  • Supervise hired packers
  • Unpack boxes with you

3. Non-judgmental

You might feel embarrassed to show your home to a professional organizer in its current condition. As well, you may worry about sorting through intimate items.

Rest assured that ClutterBGone organizers do not pass judgment about your possessions or the appearance of your house. Instead, we offer unconditional support and encouragement throughout the downsizing process so that you attain the desired results.

4. Deciding What to Keep

It is difficult for most people to choose between what to keep and what to donate, sell, or toss. Possessions often have sentimental values and thinking about giving them up is stressful.

A professional organizer can guide you through the tough moments when you have trouble deciding so that things keep flowing. Transitioning smoothly to a new home or creating a more livable space in your current residence is what you can achieve with a professional organizer at your side.

5. The Experience to Know What to Do

Our organizers have packed, unpacked, and tackled household clutter. They work with adults and seniors, as well as those who are chronically disorganized.

Getting your home into its best shape begins with hiring an experienced organizer who understands not only to begin the downsizing process but keep it going through to the end as smoothly as possible. That way you can get the best price for your home, as well as having packing and unpacking help. What’s more, we make the process an enjoyable one for you, rather than one you dread!

Final Words on Hiring a Personal Organizer when Downsizing

Reducing your world isn’t easy for a lot of people to do on their own. Get downsizing help from people who do this for a living, like ClutterBGone. Contact us now to start the process.

Home Downsizing in 4 Easy Steps

Home Downsizing in 4 Easy Steps

If you are transitioning to a new home, then downsizing your belongings is a good idea. Here is a four-step plan to do so with less fuss.

Step 1: Start with the big stuff

Deciding what stays and what goes is easier when you feel like you’re making good progress. Start by making decisions about the big-sized items, such as the washer and dryer.

Ask yourself if it’s worth moving certain appliances to the new home, especially if you’re leaving the province. If the new residence has them already, then do you prefer yours to the ones there?

As for large collections, such as dishware, do you plan to keep them? Or, does selling or gifting them make more sense?

If you find it tough parting with the whole collection, consider keeping only your favourite pieces from it. Next, go through other items, such as large gifts you received, and think about whether you want to take them to the new place.

Home Downsizing in 4 Easy Steps

Step 2: Sort into four piles

The next step for home downsizing effectively is to create four distinct piles. One pile is for giveaways; these are items that you will give for free to family or friends.

The other sorting stations to create are donations, for-sale items, and trash. If the item still has usefulness, then consider donating it to a non-profit organization.

Could you use some extra cash to help with the move? If so, then put items into the sale pile and use online marketplaces to make a few bucks.

The trash mound goes to the dump, whether you drop it off yourself or hire someone to come pick up the items. These things are broken or unusable at this point.

Step 3: Go through each room

After deciding on the big items, it’s time to go from one room to the next to deal with the smaller possessions. Certain things hold memories, and it can be tough to declutter those ones. Give yourself time to reminisce as you go through each one to honour it, and then decide if has a place in the new home.

As you go through the rooms, have someone with you during this emotional job. A professional organizer can provide support as you decide which of the four piles to put things into during the downsizing process. We are only a phone call away and understand useful ways to declutter all or part of a home.

Step 4: Go easy on yourself

This process is a tough one, so give yourself regular breaks from sorting to relax. Spread out the process over several weeks, if possible, so that it does not feel overly burdensome.

Also, if you have an off day, that is normal; try to be more productive the next time you battle the clutter. The downsizing process brings up many emotions and memories, but know that you will get through it, and look forward to the next stage in your life in a new home.

The future residence is where you will make new memories. Many positive moments await you there. As always, if you need a little extra support and guidance, give us a call. We’re back in action and look forward to helping out!

organizing your kitchen

5 Simple Steps to Organize Your Kitchen Effectively

The kitchen is a room that gets a lot of use. Rather than avoiding using it because of the clutter, use these tips to organize your kitchen cabinets and shelves better than before, so you look forward to making dinner for the family.

Step 1 – Use Storage Containers

To organize your kitchen effectively, group similar items to help them look tidier, as well as making them easier to find when you’re cooking. Baskets and bins without lids are great for snacks as the kids can quickly reach inside to get what they need when hungry after school.

Look for ones that match or are identical to create a uniform look, especially on open shelving where there’s no hiding away the clutter. Also, collect loose items like tea bags into clear canisters so you can see when they’re running low and refill them.

organize your kitchen

Step 2 – Utilize Open Spaces

Look at awkward spaces around the fridge or elsewhere that you can use for additional storage when looking to organize your kitchen. For instance, there might be a gap between the fridge and the wall where you can add a shelf for extra cups and bowls.

Also, consider hanging items from the wall rather than putting them in cupboards where they would take up precious space. Hang pots and pans by attaching a metal railing to the wall and adding hooks; select hooks that allow the cookware to hang flat against the wall.

Step 3 – Downsize the Kitchen

Before you start moving things around, decide if you really need everything currently in the kitchen. For example, do you both sets of measuring cups? The chances are good that if you donate one of the sets, you will not miss it.

Go through each cupboard and drawer to find duplicates to donate or sell. At the same time, look for unused items that are taking up space. Each one you part with will free up room in the kitchen.

Step 4 – Adjust Shelves

Have you adjusted your kitchen cabinets’ shelves lately? If not, then you could be missing out on better organizing the cabinets.

Create more vertical storage space by moving shelves so that they are only slightly higher than objects. If you have room for another shelf, the local hardware store can cut a new piece of plywood quickly and easily to fit.

organizing your kitchen

Step 5 – Group Glassware and Dinnerware

If you see a chaotic array of mugs, glasses, and dishes when you open the cabinet, it’s time to rethink how you’ve put them on the shelves. Devote lower shelves to the glasses and mugs you use every day and put frequently-used bowls and plates within easy reach too.

Special occasion items can go higher up, as they used less often. Also, store glasses with the rims up to protect them from damage.

Final Words on Organizing the Kitchen

At the end of each day, look at the countertop and remove any items that don’t belong there, such as the kids’ schoolwork or random items unpacked from the dishwasher. A clean countertop makes a kitchen look instantly more attractive.

Reduce clutter and boost storage by using the tips above, as well as reaching out to our professional organizers for more ways to improve your kitchen’s functionality. There are many ways to reduce clutter without having to do a major kitchen renovation.

decluttering when downsizing

Decluttering Hacks for Downsizing Your Home

Decluttering a home because you are downsizing can be an anxious feeling. You are probably feeling like you will need to make some hard choices with what stays and what comes with you. The key to decluttering when downsizing is to get rid of things in your life that you don’t need, while keeping what you need. It sounds simple enough, right?

However, when it gets down to reviewing specific items, you may feel like you are overwhelmed with how many choices you have to make. We’re going to make the whole process easier for you by giving you some neat decluttering hacks for when you have to downsize your home.

Follow the 1 Year Rule

You are naturally going to try and hang onto things that, practically-speaking, you should just get rid of. We are talking about sentimental things and items that you feel may be used some day. However, if you haven’t used something within the past year, you probably won’t be using it in the coming year either. If you probably won’t use it the coming year, you probably will never use it at all. Let this time of downsizing finally be the time when you part with things that you aren’t using.

take pictures when decluttering

Take Photos of Sentimental Items

Some things are truly sentimental with memories that you simply find unbearable to part with. Not to worry! There’s a solution for that, which is to take photos of them. This is especially useful for unique and bulky things that will take up too much space in a downsized home. Memories last a lifetime, but having pictures of your sentimental items can help those memories stay fresh. Besides, you can have as many photos as you want, since digital photos take up no physical space.

Now that you know some decluttering hacks, the whole process of decluttering while downsizing should be easier for you. If you are still feeling overwhelmed with the whole process, that’s alright! ClutterBGone can help you with the entire process, so you can focus on other aspects of your move. Downsizing your home can be stressful enough, so make it easier on yourself and have a helping hand from professionals who know how to make the decluttering process a smooth one.

downsizing tips for seniors

5 Downsizing Tips for Seniors

Downsizing is an emotional challenge for some seniors while to others, it’s a joy – it all depends on preparation. Most seniors enjoy more free time by moving to a smaller house that requires less upkeep. These are the seniors who are open to the idea of downsizing. Before the time comes, it’s important for seniors to sit and discuss downsizing options with their family or friends. Here are a few downsizing tips for seniors:

Downsizing Tip 1: Plan ahead

Planning is the essential component of downsizing for seniors. The conversation around downsizing should start as early as possible. Let the senior know you respect their freedom of choice. Discuss with them why they should consider moving, where they will be moving to and the moving budget. Compare the costs of moving to the new space and all the pros of the new space compared to the current space.

Downsizing Tip 2: Start small

Start sorting out things as early as possible and start with the smaller rooms. Sort all the things you want to get rid of room by room. Starting with the smaller rooms first may be less overwhelming than diving into the bigger ones first.

For this, start early and start getting rid of things one by one. You can start donating what you don’t need or selling them as early as the decision to move is made.

downsizing tips for seniors

Downsizing Tip 3: Eliminate the rooms absent in the new home

Before you even start donating things, make sure you eliminate the things in the rooms that you don’t have in the new house. Some of these rooms house important items that you just can’t get rid of. Relocate these to other rooms in the new space and donate, sell, or toss the others you don’t need.

Downsizing Tip 4: Declutter

When it comes to moving, getting rid of what you don’t use isn’t an option. Make two piles, the yes and no piles – but no ‘maybes’. Otherwise, you will find yourself with a maybe pile that is bigger than the other two. Take a good look at every item in the house and if it’s not something you use regularly, that’s a no and if you use it regularly, it’s a yes.

Downsizing Tip 5: Consider legacy gifts

Seniors have a hard time letting go of some things. There will be items that the senior can’t or won’t let go of, and that’s alright. The antiques and other sentimental items don’t have to go as long as they don’t impede the move. Let the senior decide on what to do with the sentimental items that won’t fit in the new home. Most prefer giving these special items to family as a sign of gratitude. Just always ensure that they know they have a voice in the move.

Downsizing for seniors isn’t easy but if you have a plan and clear communication, moving can be a smooth and peaceful transition. Remember not to force anything, simply suggest and wait for them to make a choice.

If ClutterBGone can be of any assistance in your transition process, reach out to us here! Sometimes just a little extra support and guidance is all you need.

elderly parents moving

How to Talk to Your Elderly Parents About Downsizing

Talking to your elderly parents about downsizing is one of the most challenging things. For the talk to yield positive fruits, you have to be cautious and steer the conversation in a subtle manner. The move might seem practical for the senior, but the thought of moving can provoke strong emotions. As the responsible party, you have to make the senior understand why this is in their best interest and why it has to be done which is challenging but not impossible.

Start the discussion as early as possible

How do your parents or the seniors in your life imagine their future? Before the move is immediately necessary, begin talking to them about other options to make the transition easier. Make sure you discuss the topic multiple times and show them the pros and not the cons of moving. This way, arriving at a decision you are both comfortable with is easier. Bring up a neighbour or an old friend who has downsized and talk to the senior about the advantages of the move.

Let the senior stay in control

Before you can figure out what to tell your elderly parents, listen to them first. Downsizing is emotional as it makes the seniors feel like they are losing control over their lives. State one fact before anything else that the decision to downsize is ultimately theirs and you are here to provide support and make suggestions. Never impose but instead, ask gentle questions about the current living situation and let them know how downsizing can help them improve and live a happier life.

elderly parents moving

Air your concerns

Most seniors respond best if you are open and honest. Instead of imposing, making choices, or controlling them, share your worries about their living conditions. Most of our elderly parents don’t like it when their children worry so much about them. For this reason, they won’t be defensive or feel upset if you express your fears and the desire for them to be safe and happy.

Downsizing is a sensitive topic for the elderly and it needs a subtle approach. Make plans with your parents if you want a smooth transition and figure out their idea of downsizing. Get to understand what is sensitive about it and how to best approach that. Elderly parents feel attached to their homes and that bond can be hard to break. Do it bit by bit and in a considerate manner and let the elderly parent feel in control at all times. Let them feel their decision is respected and appreciated.

If at any time you need a little extra help and support, we are just a call away to help with all your downsizing needs!

downsizing tips for seniors

A Downsizing Checklist for Caregivers

Moving is a challenge for everyone and is one of the high-stress life events in life. It becomes tougher when you are a caregiver and have to move a senior. Most people find themselves in a crisis where you have to move the senior in a limited amount of time. Planning time is minimal, and you need to have everything in order before making a move. Here is a downsizing checklist for caregivers.

Plan Ahead

This applies if you have time, and the senior is willing to move as this sometimes becomes a challenge and eats into the available time. The move is now imminent, and there is no other option. Start decluttering as early as possible. Take everything into consideration and determine what to give away, sell, or throw away. Clean the house and organize in stages and make sure to measure the furniture. You need to know if the furniture fits the downsized house you are moving into. Set a moving date and check with family and friends for a moving company recommendation.

Start Packing

You now have what is moving with your senior and what goes away. Organize everything you have in boxes and assign different boxes for essential items to avoid confusion. It also helps in knowing what goes to which room and so forth.

Identify the critical and fragile items and separate them from the rest and make sure their boxes are well marked as FRAGILE, so the movers handle the boxes with care. If packing is posing a challenge, get family or friends to help.

Moving

You know what is going and what goes away, so you have a good idea of the transport you need. If you are using friends or family members, communicate with them. Also, make sure you have all the necessary gear and muscle to help you move.

If you are using a moving company, the contracts should be in order and in writing too.

downsizing checklist for seniors

Settling In

When downsizing for caregivers, the challenge posed to the caregiver is helping the older person settle in. You have moved in, and the unpacking starts. After you are done, it’s up to the caregiver to update the senior’s addresses in all relevant institutions. Don’t leave the senior assuming all is well; check in regularly after the move and make sure they are happy and thriving in the new community.

The reason why your seniors need a smaller home is not as important as their safety and happiness. Take comfort in knowing the senior is cared for and happy after the move. If ever you need a little extra support in the downsizing process, don’t hesitate to reach out!