5 tips for seniors to help reduce the stress of downsizing – St George News

ByDavid M. Conte

Apr 19, 2022

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — It’s a natural fact of life that the older you get, the more you acquire.

Primrose resident interacts with friendly staff, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Primrose Retirement Communities, St. George News

One day, you are newlyweds buying your first home and only filling it with second-hand furniture you receive from friends and family. Then, in what seems like the blink of an eye, you’re living in your third house — and the children who once filled it with love and excitement have grown up and have children of their own.

Your now empty nest, filled with a lifetime of precious memories, has grown too big for you to care for. You know you need to downsize, but the thought of doing so is overwhelming. Where to start ?

Here are some suggestions you can use to help get the ball rolling.

Do not rush

When you begin the process of sorting through your belongings, it can be emotionally taxing. Try to avoid rushing in – maybe start with an easier room, like a bathroom, with fewer things you’re emotionally attached to. Make sure you also make time to take breaks along the way, giving yourself some time to clear your mind a bit.

Think about your needs at this stage of your life

How long have you had this weight in your guest room? You may have already had big plans for these dumbbells, but how realistic is it to use them? It may make more sense to sell them (or give them away) and invest in a nice pair of walking shoes instead. They take up less space and you may be more likely to use them.

How about that old fishing gear in the garage? You used to fish with multiple rods and tackle boxes when you had a boat, but since you sold it, maybe you can get by with just one rod and tackle box and donate the rest.

Aubrey Brown, sales manager at Primrose of Washington, shares that many customers admit to being focused on belongings and objects and stressed out about material things. But once they visited their new apartments in the retirement community and started looking at the future from a “lifestyle” perspective, it became easier to navigate the process of downsizing. workforce.

“Understanding that with an artisan chef cooking their meals, pots and pans weren’t as important as they thought,” Brown said. “When they make themselves a priority, ‘things’ become a more accessible task.”

Create digital copies of photos

Primrose residents participate in life enrichment activities, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Primrose Retirement Communities, St. George News

Photos are some of the most precious memories a person can accumulate. They can also be very difficult to let go – but who said you had to?

as pics with age, image quality degrades. Find a tech-savvy friend or family member and have them scan all your photo albums for you and store them digitally on your computer. This will eliminate the need for extra space to store stacks of old photo albums, protect your photos from damage, and allow you to easily view them whenever and wherever you want.

It can be an emotional relief to let go of boxes and boxes of stuff, Brown said. The fact that it’s just taking up space in our homes — and our heads — should serve as motivation to take a close look at our clutter on a regular basis.

“When we stop to identify why something is important to us, we can give it the value and priority it deserves, not just in our physical space but also emotionally,” she added. “I can love my caring daughters and the cards and notes they send me without needing to cling to each one.”

save it for later

You will find that it is easy to let go of some things, especially if there is no personal attachment to them. Sometimes, however, you may find it difficult to decide whether or not you can bear to part with certain items. Designate a special box or bin for these articles, and the next time you come across something you’re undecided about, place it inside.

Sometimes a little separation of these elements gives you time to think more clearly and objectively about them. It makes it much easier to have greater confidence in deciding what you absolutely must keep and what you can give away. a way.

Work with a senior move manager

Senior move managers are specialists who help you through every step of the downsizing process, from sorting through your belongings and hiring a mover to arranging your new living space for you.

Kimberly Alwin, member and secretary of the National Association of Senior Move Managers and owner of A Smooth Move in Austin, Minnesota, believes hiring a move coordinator can be a great first step.

“We always start with a consultation,” she said. “Sometimes we only work with the people who are moving, and sometimes we work with the whole family, but it’s good to have that initial starting point. contact so we can start talking through the process.

Primrose residents participate in life enrichment activities, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Primrose Retirement Communities, St. George News

While moving managers provide a number of services to seniors looking to downsize, one of the most important is helping them visualize what their new lifestyle will look like with their belongings.

“We walk through the layout of their new living space together, complete with furniture placement, to help paint a realistic picture of how their stuff will fit before they move in,” Alwin said.

Moving specialists will take pictures of someone’s home decor and then arrange their new living space to look as much like the original as possible.

“We want to help people understand that downsizing doesn’t mean giving up all the things they love. Ultimately, you can see the weight taken off their shoulders when the move is complete and their new space feels a lot like their last home,” Alwin said.

Another thing a move manager can do is be objective. Often when you’re dealing with so many things that hold so many memories, it can be hard to judge if something should be held back. A move manager provides a mechanism for people to let their emotions out and talk rationally about the decision-making process, which leads to more confident decisions and more efficient use of time.

If you have any questions for us, Primrose would be honored to help. Feel free to visit PrimroseRetirement.com for more information.



  • Primrose Retirement Communities | Address: 5190 S. Washington Fields Road, Washington City | Phone: 435-256-8236 | Website.

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