Making the move to senior housing is sometimes met with hesitation, and that is usually due to the perception of senior housing. Today’s communities are not what they were twenty or even ten years ago. When you or your mom are beginning to think about moving into a community like ours, sometimes, transitioning into senior housing can be an adjustment and a challenge for her, as well as other family members.
Eventually, you will need to go through all the things you have accumulated over a lifetime. Cleaning out a house full of stuff sounds exhausting and intimidating, but it really does not have to be. It could be a wonderful opportunity to relive significant memories and teach others about your life.
Sorting through meaningful keepsakes and mementos is a tough job. But even though it is time-consuming, deciding what to keep and what not to keep is a meaningful part of the rightsizing process. De-cluttering well before a move also relieves the stress all that extra stuff causes.
Here are five tips to make this project less stressful and more enjoyable:
- Pace Yourself
Going through a lifetime of important memories is not something you can get done in a weekend or even a week. Be realistic and take time to make thoughtful decisions. Pick one box or collection of items and go through piece by piece without rushing. After you finish with that box, then start on another.
- Do Not Go in It Alone
When tackling downsizing as a senior, “don’t go it alone” is the number one tip to follow. That could mean hiring a professional organizer, working with a motivational coach, or depending on what you are decluttering, getting help from someone who is a bit more personally invested in your decluttering efforts to help. Namely, your family.
- Remember Special Moments
Looking at keepsakes and mementos often brings up memories of significant life events. Take time to reminisce over special moments, relive touching moments and share meaningful conversations with loved ones.
- Pass Down Family Heirlooms
Gift important family keepsakes and furniture to loved ones; you will get to see how happy those mementos make family and friends. Plus, there will not be any confusion over who should get those keepsakes. For less special items, you could take a picture of it, write a brief description of its history, and share it with family members. Then donate or sell the item knowing you have preserved the memory.
- Use these key questions to figure out whether to keep, give away, or sell:
- Is this item regularly used? Has it been used in the past year?
- Does it truly enhance my quality of life?
- Would this item physically fit in their smaller living space and future lifestyle?
- Does it have a significant dollar value?