Articles, advice and downsizing tips are everywhere. Simplifying, organizing and getting back to basics may be your goal, but sometimes the timing is just not right for a major change.
This is a project that can be done in stages; the most important thing to do is…start.
Familiarity breeds content: When you live in the same home for years, your furniture and accessories feel comfortable and safe. Although sometimes it may seem like your life is spiraling out of control, being in familiar surroundings makes it easier to cope with these day-to-day challenges.
Set reasonable goals: As a caregiver, you have a lot of things on your mind and downsizing may not even be on your radar.Set a timer for 10 minutes and clear one drawer. Or put two surplus items in a donation box every day and plan to deliver the box at the end of two weeks.
Make room: An uncluttered living space is accessible and safe. Falls are the leading cause of injury for seniors and the main reason many older adults lose their independence. With adequate space between pieces of furniture and clear pathways throughout the home, the chances of falling are reduced considerably.
Start small: Change may be unsettling to your loved one so it is better to begin your downsizing project in rooms used less frequently. Those with memory issues may become disoriented when familiar items are moved or removed.
Enlist family members: If family members would enjoy specific items, tell them you’re downsizing and suggest they drop by. Then, you can share a treasure or two and they will have a chance to visit both of you. It’s a win-win!
Cracked, broken or stained? No one wants electrical appliances that don’t work, clothes that are falling apart or china floral arrangements with missing flowers. Some things can be thrown out. Just do it!
Walk down memory lane: When you find something that brings back a wonderful memory, share it. The upside to downsizing is taking the time to laugh, cry and celebrate!
Stop when you’ve had enough! The important thing is to make your home safe and comfortable and there is not a race to the finish line. When you’re tired, stop.
Here’s to successful downsizing.
May you uncover a few delightful surprises in the process!