Top 10 Reasons Why Seniors Should Declutter When Downsizing
Many times, seniors are looking to downsize their homes because they want a simpler, easier life. The more items you own, and the larger your home, the more responsibilities you have for home maintenance, repair and housekeeping. At this stage in life, less is better. In fact, many people want to live simpler lives, because they value experiences over things.
If you are questioning whether to downsize, or if you are already taking steps toward making a move, then these top 10 reasons why seniors should declutter before downsizing should help make this process simpler, more enjoyable, and less expensive.
Let go of the clutter and the chaos.
Many times, people say they are overwhelmed with the clutter in their homes. By reducing the amount of stuff, you own, you’ll have a renewed sense of freedom. You’ll no longer feel overwhelmed by your surroundings. If you invest time in decluttering your home before you move, this will be a huge payoff when it’s time to pack. People who have moved many times, seem to realize moving is an excuse to get rid of what you are not using. Instead of packing certain things you’re not going to move, put them in your car and drive them down to the local consignment shop. There are some local charities that will come pick up items you are donating. If you let go of these items now, you’ll have less to unpack in your new space.
Reduce the time and money you spend on your move.
If you declutter your house before the day of your move, this will reduce the number of boxes in your house and on the moving truck. By decluttering before the move, you could be moving only 50 rather than taking 100 with you to your smaller home. Less boxes equals more money in your pocket.
A moving.com article says “boxes can be one of the bigger expenses if you purchase more boxes than necessary or have to make extra runs to the store because you didn’t purchase enough or the right size.”
The less time movers spend picking up and transporting household items, the less the move will cost. A one-bedroom move is much cheaper than a three-bedroom move. You should also consider that by reducing your furniture, there is less time spent on the move. You’ll also reduce the time it takes to disassemble and assemble furniture.
It’s easier to organize your new space when you have less things.
One of the benefits of moving is that you have focused time dedicated to organizing your furniture, clothing, dishes and utensils. If you’re like many seniors who are downsizing, you want a smaller home that is easier to clean and maintain. You most likely made the decision to simplify your life by moving. If you have less belongings, then organizing your new home will be more enjoyable. Reduce the clutter, and donate those trinkets you no longer use. Give away the figurines that no longer have a place in your new home. The key is to do this before you relocate. Imagine waking up to a clean organized home every day. You’ll discover with less things, your new space has a character that is reflective of your interests and personality.
Imagine unpacking the boxes you moved in only a weeks’ time.
I know a senior couple in their seventies who relocated and downsized to a new home. They brought most of what they own to this new house; rather than decluttering before the day of the move. Not sure whether any of these household items would ever get used, they stored several unpacked boxes in the garage for over a year. Recently, they made the decision to sell most of these items at a flea market. This process took a considerable amount of time and the profit was only $80. They probably would have spent less money on the move, and saved themselves a great deal of time, if they’d gotten rid of these items before the move. You hear the “tales of woe” from people who admit they still have boxes to unpack months and even years after making a move. If you are strategic about what you decide to keep, and let go of items that no longer serve a purpose in your life, then you could realistically be unpacked in a week or two after downsizing.
You won’t be wondering, a year later, where did I pack that thing?
Imagine you have a place for everything you’ve moved, and can make decisions about where to store your belongings. The next time you are looking for an item you use once or twice a year, you’ll know exactly where to look. You won’t be staring at a shelf full of unpacked boxes, thinking, I know it’s up there somewhere. In fact, those things you never use, will be long gone if you part with them now rather than later.
People in need, will value your donations.
As I already mentioned, you can donate what you no longer need or want. There are so many people who shop at consignment stores and thrift shops. Places like Habitat for Humanity donate the profit from their stores to help people build affordable homes. The items that are collecting dust on your shelf, or are taking up space in your closet, can be donated to a great cause. Goodwill uses the revenue from the donations they sell to provide job skills training and placement for people in need of work. You can also claim these donations as tax deductions.
The longer you procrastinate, the harder it will be to declutter.
Most of us would agree that it’s harder to tackle a task when we’ve already chosen to procrastinate. I’ve worked with so many senior clients that look at everything surrounding them in their homes, and they feel overwhelmed thinking about where to start the decluttering process. When I start to procrastinate about a task I dread, I push myself to tackle this one step at a time. One way to approach procrastination is to tackle the task that is most dreaded first. If you get the most overwhelming thing out of the way as a first step, then it’s much easier to take the next step.
The joy of moving will be enhanced by your lighter happier outlook.
Moving is a joy! When we find a new place to call home, we usually feel ecstatic about this positive change. We visualize ourselves in the home long before we move our belongings into this space. As part of your pre-move imagery, think about a space that is clutter free. Imagine how this might change your outlook in the morning when you arise to a clear space that is free of objects and distractions. An organized home translates to inner satisfaction.
You’ll have better focus, concentration and energy for the move.
Once you get past procrastination, and start tackling your projects one at a time, you will begin to have more focus and clarity about how you want to spend your time. There are other details that will require your attention prior to your move. By reducing what you own and decreasing the number of boxes that will be stored in your home before and after the move, you’ll have more energy to prioritize your tasks. You’ll also increase your level of concentration.
You’ll have more time for friends and family when you downsize.
The time will finally come when you have taken the necessary steps to declutter your home, and free yourself of these items that no longer need to be a part of your household environment.
With an organized closet, spacious well-maintained kitchen, and more time to play, you’ll truly enjoy your new-found freedom. Friends can stop by unannounced, and your visits with family members will be easier. You’ll use less to entertain, which will make it easier when the time comes to clean up after people leave.
The items you’ve chosen to display will become treasures in your new house. What you decide to keep and move into your home will stand out rather than blend in with a backdrop of clutter. Your belongings will enhance the spirit of your surroundings and you will feel a sense of rejuvenation.