Downsizing Tips: To Ensure a Smooth Transition

Moving is never easy, especially for those who have lived in the same home for most of their adult lives. For many seniors, the task can be emotionally as well as physically challenging. But with proper planning and support, the moving process can be a smooth transition. The following are some tips that may help you to prepare for a move.

Begin sorting and downsizing

It is never too early to begin planning for a move. Even if you think you may be moving two years from now, you can begin the sorting and downsizing process in your home. Attics, garages, and basements are filled with things people tend to save “just in case.” Many of these items have not been used or even seen in years. The sooner you can get into these areas and begin sorting them, the better: Make piles or lists of what you plan to keep, sell, give to family, friends or charity, and throw away. Always remember that it is much easier to pare down now rather than in the time of a crisis when an immediate move may be necessary.

Prepare a floor plan

When older adults relocate they usually go from larger homes to smaller homes or apartments, condos, townhouses or assisted-living communities. For this reason, it is important to have a floor plan to prepare well in advance. After all, once you know exactly what you can take with you, you will also know what you will need to get rid of.
As soon as you know where you are moving, arrange for a time to go there and measure the entire area. Take into account the amount of storage space you have in your new home and plan accordingly. Once you have measured your new home and your furniture, you can sketch a floor plan to scale using graph paper. This floor plan can also be given to the movers so that they can place everything exactly where you have decided. When planned out in this manner, it will save you time, money, and confusion.

Enlisting the help of others

Moving is a stressful and overwhelming time of change. Do not be afraid to ask family and friends for their help. See what resources are available in your community. Look into using volunteers from religious affiliations and service clubs. Keep in mind that there are professionals (like CLUTTERBUSTERS!!) available to assist you in all aspects of your move. From sorting, downsizing, cleanouts, floor plans, utility changes to getting you comfortable settled into your new home on the day of the move, there are people who can help you.

Give yourself time to adjust

Moving means change and adjusting to this change will probably not happen overnight.. Introduced yourself to your neighbors and learn about local activities. Do not rush yourself through the process. In time, you will become familiar with where everything is throughout your home and in your new community.
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 Betsy FeinAbout this Experts Contributor: Betsy Fein is a recognized expert in professional organizing and President of Clutterbusters!!, which provides professional organization services in Rockville, Maryland. You can follow this contributor on Twitter @clutterbusters.
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