Five Simple Tips to Help You Right-Size Your Life

As people transition into senior living, there's often a series of difficult decisions to be made. Should I move to a smaller house or condo? Is it necessary to look at a retirement residence? Regardless of the decision a number of things can be done to make the next chapter of life easier and enjoyable.

Downsizing, or right-sizing, can be an emotional process for the whole family: moving into a smaller space may mean sifting through a lifetime of memories, deciding what to keep and what to give away. Seniors often feel like their lives are slipping away with the family home.

The following tips and suggestions may make the transition easier.

1. Create a positive atmosphere around the move. Host a moving party with family and friends. This will enhance the sense that a new and exciting chapter is starting in life.

2. Break the move into steps. Do it a room at a time, easy ones first. Save the family heirlooms, pictures and other treasures until last. This will decrease the stress level and allow time to reminisce over the emotional items.

3. Call a family meeting to decide what items can be moved and what needs to be given away. This can be both emotional and therapeutic. It is also an opportunity to 'gift' some valuables to family members and see them enjoy them rather than leaving them in a will.

4. Consider having some of your items appraised and, if they are valuable, hold a live or online auction.

5. De-cluttering is only one part of the equation: thought must also be put into making the new living space convenient and functional. The new living space should reinforce your independent lifestyle while making sure the space is organized. It's sometimes a good idea to hire an organizational expert to make the house as functional as possible.

As the population of seniors increases, change doesn't have to be seen as negative or upsetting – it can be exciting and enjoyable. Handled with planning and organization, the next chapter of life can be stress free.

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Find more information in Senior Living's many articles about Senior Housing, as well as the book To Move or Not to Move, a helpful guide for Seniors considering their residential options.



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