Downsizing: Make your new (smaller) home your own
Many seniors may still call the memory-filled house where they raised their family home; the place where their children grew up and where joyous grandchildren visited for holidays. Emotional ties to a home like this can make it that much more challenging to make the move to a new home, such as an independent senior living community.
However, from the perspectives of both seniors and their adult children, there are benefits to downsizing. In fact, once the move to an independent senior living community is a reality, it creates an opportunity for seniors to make their new – smaller – home their very own.
Get prepared before the move
No matter what stage of life you are in, whenever you move, it is the perfect opportunity to take inventory of everything in your home. Make some final decisions on what items will be kept because they are used frequently and what items will be tossed or sold because you did not even know you still had them. Go through every cabinet, every shelf, and every closet, and sort through all of your “stuff.”
Depending on the timeframe between taking inventory of your home and moving, you may want to have a yard sale or use online services like Craigslist or eBay to sell as many of the items as possible. Money you make selling old, unused household items could even be used to buy a few items to spruce up your new space.
Depending on where you are moving, you may be able to keep some of your old furniture and move it to your new home. If possible, this is a nice way to ease the transition from one home to the next. If you are able to keep bedroom or living room furniture, be sure to measure it before bringing it along. You will want to make sure it will fit into the new home’s floor plan. If you are moving into a Holiday Retirement community, you can reach out to the community and request a copy of the floor plan to get an idea of your new space.
Home is where the heart is
It may be cliché, but it is certainly true. With a few mementos, you can seamlessly make your new home in an independent senior living community feel warm and welcoming. Sort through family heirlooms and childhood photo albums to find those items that truly make a house feel like home. These items should be the first ones brought to the new home.
This may also be the opportunity to share furniture, décor, artwork, etc., with friends and family who are not in the process of moving. See if someone might be in the market for a new armchair or a piece of artwork to hang in a guest bedroom. This way, when you go to visit these friends and family, you are able to see your items being enjoyed in a new home and keep them “in the family.”
An excuse to go shopping
Use your big move as an excuse to update outdated décor or play the role of decorator. Retailers like IKEA, Walmart, and Target specialize in inexpensive décor that works nicely in smaller settings such as independent senior living apartments.
Enjoy the freedom of a smaller home
Your house may have been where your son brought home his blue ribbon from the 3rd grade field day and where your daughter had her first sleepover with her best friends, but it very well could have had some quirks that will be nice to avoid. Knocking the ice out of the gutters every winter or mowing the lawn and tending to a large garden every summer can become cumbersome as seniors age. Furthermore, letting go of unnecessary items, such as your collection of 10 coolers in the garage, can be extremely therapeutic.
Making the move to a smaller home, such as an apartment in an independent senior living community, can alleviate a lot of the headaches of a large home while still allowing for the freedom of having your own space.
Interested in learning more about one of Holiday Retirement’s independent senior living communities? Schedule a visit today!