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How to Make Your Senior Downsize Go

as Smooth as Silk

by Michael Longsdon, info@elderfreedom.net


Are you ready to simplify for the future?  Downsizing can be the key to ease of maintenance, reduced housekeeping efforts, and lower utilities.  However, cutting the size of your space often means paring down your belongings.  Here is how to handle the transition of moving into a smaller home for your senior years.


Readying the whole family

 When it comes to moving, you should keep in mind every member of your household, and not just the human ones.  As Rover.com points out, itís best to spend time preparing your canine companion for the upcoming move.  Establish a routine to carry over into the new house, and pack your belongings gradually so your dog isnít upset by the disruption.  Make some trips to the new neighborhood before the move and take some walking tours.  Even better, if you can visit the new house a time or two, bring your pooch along to explore and get acclimated.  That way, things wonít be quite so overwhelming for Fido when you take up residence. 


Alzheimerís and dementia considerations

 When looking at future homes, you might weigh into your decisions the possibility of you or a loved one developing Alzheimerís disease or dementia.  As Neptune Society points out, there are special considerations that should be given in case the cognitive, emotional and judgment decline related to Alzheimerís strikes your family.  You might need to label items and rooms as to how they function, tape down rugs, and stick with simple patterns when it comes to your homeís decor.  Ensure there is good lighting throughout the home, and avoid a home with stairs if possible. 


Consider future needs

 When youíre looking for a home for your golden years, itís in your best interests to find something that either is accessible or can be easily modified to meet your needs later.  After all, even if you are healthy and able-bodied right now, you might need an assistive device later on, such as following a surgery or due to an injury or health condition.  There is a whole design movement oriented toward those who want to stay in their homes as they grow older, and itís called aging in place.  By taking these principles into account, you can ease through your older years comfortably.  Ideas include features like no-step entryways, wider doors, and threshold-free shower stalls.


Clearing the clutter

When youíre ready to pare down on space, chances are you also need to reduce your belongings.  U.S. News suggests you begin the decluttering process by deciding what is really important to you.  The items you simply canít live without should go into your next home.  After that, designate items to sell or rehome.  You can have a yard sale, give things away, or sell items online.  If you make some money, put it toward your move!  Lastly, decide which items you want to recycle or discard. 


Packing and moving

You might want to do some packing as you sort items, or consider waiting until the end and box things in the order you want them unpacked.  Either way, Denver Post suggests making a designated packing room where you keep your materials and boxes.  Itís good to keep that chaos out of your dogís way, and your supplies and boxes wonít take over your home.  When it comes to your dogís things, pack Fidoís personal items last, such as beds and bowls, and unpack them first in the new home. 

Planning the move can become overwhelming, and some people like to hire a senior move manager, who can handle as much or as little of the process as you like.  They can do everything from boxing up your stuff, to arranging trucks and movers, to setting up your utilities.  Decide how much you can handle, and get help if you need it.

Moving into a smaller and easier-to-manage home for your senior years is a wise choice.  Think through the needs of your household and what could be best for the future.  With your good planning and preparation, you will have a pleasant transition into your new home.



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