Guide to Effective Seniors Downsizing

Welcome to this quick start resource guide to Seniors Decluttering, Downsizing and Relocating.  

Are you or a loved one looking to start the process of decluttering, downsizing and relocating in the next six months?

Has an opportunity to move into a smaller residence come available? Or perhaps it has become necessary to downsize due to health concerns or other major life changes.

We understand that decluttering, downsizing and relocating can be a daunting task, but we are here to help you every step of the way. Our guide is designed to provide practical advice and helpful tips for seniors who have made the decision to simplify their lives and transition to a new space.

If you haven't yet decided to downsize, then this guide will help you learn how to enjoy a clutter-free home. Even just starting the process of decluttering and thinking about downsizing can be a good option for those who are preparing for retirement. As you get older, it may become more difficult to maintain a large home or keep up with household chores. By downsizing to a smaller living space, you can free up time and energy to focus on other things, like travel or hobbies.

Throughout this guide, we will explore the benefits of decluttering and offer advice on how to get started, and provide downsizing tips for seniors and their families to make the process easier and less overwhelming. By the end of this guide, we hope you will feel inspired and empowered to embrace a simpler and more fulfilling lifestyle. We can support you in helping your loved ones start this process even when you don't live close by each other. 

Help Start The Process of Decluttering and Downsizing for Seniors Today

Decluttering and downsizing can have a significant positive impact on the lives of seniors. Not only does it help reduce stress and improve overall well-being, but it also increases safety and mobility. By eliminating unnecessary clutter in your space, you can create a safer and more accessible environment for yourself. We have seen many people greatly improve the quality of their lives by deciding to start this process.

Decluttering is the first step to downsizing from a larger home into your ideal, new space. This critical step will also help you save money and time when it comes time to move to a new place. By reducing the amount of stuff you have, you may find that you have more time and resources to invest in activities and experiences that bring you greater joy and fulfillment.

Overall, decluttering and downsizing is a powerful tool for people who want to simplify their lives and focus on what truly matters. 

Step 1:  Help Seniors Know How Much To Take

On average, the majority of our clients are seniors living in a home that ranges from 1,800 to 3,000 square feet of size. It is important to know your current home size and the size of the new location that you are planning on moving into.

Let's take Sally and Walter who have lived in their 2,200 square foot home for 20+ years.

They are excited because they just secured a smaller home of 1,050 square feet. This means that they are moving to a home that is 48% smaller than the space that they are moving from. To downsize well, this means that Sally and Walter need to reduce their possessions and furniture by at least 55%. This may seem like a daunting thought but keep reading. We can help you think through the plan to downsize your existing home easily and with confidence.

Step 1 of Downsizing for Seniors by Organize My Space Calgary

Step 2:  Assess Your Treasure

Before you begin decluttering and downsizing, it's important to assess your needs and determine what items you want to keep, donate, or discard. Find a notepad and your favourite pen. You will need several pages of paper to make this method work.

Start by writing the name of each room in your home at the top of each page. Then take one page and go to that room. Make a list of everything that you see in the room including furniture, electronics, books, clothing, décor, artwork, etc. Second, put a checkmark or a star next to the things that are most important to you, such as sentimental items or practical items that you use frequently. 

You may have boxes of old photos and memorabilia you’re not sure what to do with. There are many options to have these digitized in a format easily shared with family and friends on any device.

Step 2 of Downsizing for Seniors by Organize My Space Calgary

These are your priorities items to keep.

Once you have identified your priorities, you can begin sorting through your belongings and deciding what to keep and what to let go of. Remember, the goal is not to get rid of everything, but rather to create a more streamlined and organized living space that reflects your values, priorities and new lifestyle. 

Step 3:  Identify What to Keep and What to Release

At this point, you might need some help physically marking and identifying what to keep. You could go to an office supply store and buy some  post-it-notes that you can stick on every object. You can also buy a few rolls of blue painters’ tape and a sharpie marker. You want to label and tag every item that you want to keep.

Once you have done this, you need to repeat the process and identify all the other items and furniture in each room that needs to be released, given away or disposed of. At this point, you are only identifying these items. Do not get bogged down in moving things yet. That comes later.

Step 3 of Seniors Downsizing and Decluttering by Organize My Space Calgary

It can also be at this point making decisions about what to keep and what to pass along becomes difficult. Downsizing can be an emotional process, especially for people who have lived in their homes for many years. It's natural to feel attached to possessions and memories associated with your home.

One way to cope with the emotional stress of downsizing is to focus on the positive aspects of the move. Think about the benefits of a smaller, more manageable home or the financial stability that comes with downsizing. It's also important to take time to say goodbye to the old home and reminisce about happy memories.

Give yourself all of the time and space you need to do this.

Step 4:  What Goes Where?

This is a beautiful and important step in the process of downsizing for seniors. You want to honour your stuff and the environment at the same time. You may know what you are taking with you to continue your life adventure, but it is the stuff you no longer need or want that is important to pass along correctly.

Let's go back to Sally and Walter for a minute. After they completed the above steps, they now estimate that they are ready to let go of 65% of their stuff. One reason is that the majority of their current furniture simply won't fit into a smaller home. So, they will need to sell their existing furniture and buy new pieces that will be great additions and fit into their new space and new floor plan.

Step 4 of Retirement Downsizing by Organize My Space Calgary

Keep in mind that downsizing can be an invigorating and exciting move forward into the next chapter of your life or for the people you are helping.

At this point it is important to go through all the stuff that you are releasing and identify where each item needs to go. You can start with these common identification labels:

  • Recycle
  • Electronics Disposal
  • Chemical/Hazardous Waste Disposal
  • Garbage or Waste Disposal
  • Things to Sell
  • Things to Give Away
  • Family Items with the names of who you want to give the item to

This is a lot of work. Be prepared to allocate up to one day for each space in your home. This means that it could take a solid week to identify those items will fit inside the new residence that you're moving to. 

There can be an emotional element at this stage as well because you have to make time to process, relive and talk about a lifetime of memories that your possessions have with them. For sentimental items that are difficult to part with, consider taking a photo or creating a memory book to preserve the memories without taking up physical space in your smaller space.

The next step is where the heavy lifting comes into play and you, or your seniors may need some professional help. 

Step 5:  Prepare & Simplify for Relocation and Moving

Helping your seniors move is an exciting time! And then you realize all of the work that goes into planning, preparing, packing/unpacking and organizing your new home. We know it can be a lot to process and handle by yourself. 

This process might leave you feeling more stressed out than excited right about now. That’s why we have prepared some key things that you will need to know before you start hiring moving services.

The first thing we recommend at this stage is to release and let go of all the items you identified in step four above.

Next, think of anything that you are keeping that you may need to upgrade such as furniture, kitchen appliances or personal items.

Step 5 of Downsizing and Moving Seniors by Organize My Space Calgary

After that, think of items that can be transformed and retrofitted to fit in well into your new place and make your space feel energizing and inviting.

We once transformed a client's wedding dress into a tree skirt for their Christmas tree. Talk about a beautiful way to repurpose a significant personal treasure and have a great conversation piece and family heirloom for many years to come.

Take an inventory of canned goods, frozen foods, and paper products. Plan to use as many of these products as you can before moving. If you have too many of these items to use up before moving, think about passing them along to your local food bank.

Once those items have been upgraded, transformed, given away, sold, recycled, and disposed of safely, you are ready to begin packing for your moving day.

You will need to cover each of these steps to ensure a stress-free move takes place:

  • Buy packing supplies.
  • Select a moving company.
  • Know how to pack your stuff safely.
  • Get a moving plan checklist.
  • Create a list of people, places and utilities/services that need to be notified.
  • Pack an “essentials box”, a “survival bag” and a “set up box.”
  • Have a moving day checklist.
  • Have some people help you get unpacked and settled in your new home.

Moving can be a challenging experience for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for seniors and their families. Seniors may have physical limitations or health issues that make it difficult to pack and move their belongings, and they may feel emotional attachment to their home, possessions, and community.

A lot has changed with moving practices over the years, so it’s worth considering using a senior transition service to help to navigate all of the many details and stress to ensure a smooth transition.

Help Seniors Make Downsizing Much Easier

Decluttering and downsizing can be overwhelming, but there are many tips and steps that can make the process easier and less stressful. One helpful strategy is to break the task down into smaller, manageable steps. For example, focus on one room at a time, or set a goal to declutter a certain number of items each day. 

Many seniors enlist the help of friends or family members who can provide emotional support and practical assistance. Additionally, consider donating or selling items that are still in good condition, as this can help reduce landfill waste and benefit others in need in your community.

Once you have decluttered and downsized your living space, it's important to develop habits that will help you stay organized and maintain a clutter-free home until you are ready to relocate. One effective strategy is to designate a specific place for each item and make a habit of putting things back where they belong. 

Don't forget to regularly assess your belongings and get rid of anything that no longer serves a purpose, or brings you joy. By staying mindful and intentional about what you bring into your home, you can prevent clutter from accumulating and enjoy a more peaceful and harmonious living environment. 

We hope that this guide has provided you with practical advice and helpful tips for simplifying your life and enjoying a clutter-free home.  Remember, decluttering and downsizing is not just about getting rid of stuff - it's about creating a space that reflects your values and priorities and allows you to focus on what truly matters.

By embracing a simpler and more fulfilling lifestyle, you can experience greater peace, joy, and contentment in your golden years. 

What If You or Your Seniors Are Alone or Live Far Away?

If you are living alone or you have family who live far away, we can help be part of your family's downsizing team.

Likewise, if you are a caring family member who doesn't live in Calgary and wants to help your loved ones, contact us to start a conversation about how we can support you and your family through the downsizing process and steps described above. 

Three Reasons to Choose Our Seniors Downsizing Services

A. Personalized Consultation & Service

One of the most important reasons to hire a senior transition expert is to receive personalized service. We understand that you're looking to make the decluttering, downsizing and moving preparation steps as easy and convenient as possible.

Each space and subsequent move is unique and requires a customized approach. We take the time to understand your specific needs and preferences and tailor our services accordingly. This results in a smoother, more efficient move, and a better overall experience for you and your family. 

B. Specific Seniors Downsizing Experience and Organizing Expertise

Another reason to hire us is that we can use our experience and expertise to make this process more enjoyable for you and your family. We specialize in helping older adults downsize, move, and settle into their new homes.

We are familiar with the unique mental, emotional and physical challenges and considerations that comes with downsizing and decluttering. When moving seniors to a new retirement residence, we will help you manage medical equipment, and plan for important health considerations such as mobility and accessibility.

We will save you and your family time, money, and make the process of decluttering, downsizing, moving, and settling in much more enjoyable.

C. Trust and Peace of Mind

Perhaps the most important reason to hire a downsizing and decluttering company is the trust and peace of mind we provide. Moving seniors lovingly can be overwhelming and emotional for residents and their families.

By hiring a local and reputable company such as Organize My Space, you and your families can be assured that you and they are in good hands. Our business and reputation has been built on being a trustworthy transition support company.

We prioritize the safety, comfort, and well-being of our senior clients to ensure a smooth, stress-free, and successful move. We will help you make your new space feel like home the day you move in.

For us, we know that the downsizing process is so much more than the act of moving to a smaller home. Our team knows that we are helping you and your family enter into a new season of life and that your next home will be an important part of it.