42400799 - senior couple moving home and packing boxesAfter some time, it becomes quite common to accumulate possessions over a lifetime. But for all of us, there will come a time when we can’t keep all of those belongings anymore. There are a number of reasons why, but for most seniors emptying the nest it is because their little ones have flown a long time ago.

The minimalist lifestyle can allow the freedom to pick up and go without the stress of worrying about so many possessions to clean after and safeguard.

So when the opportunity of downsizing presents itself, it often is not overlooked.

However, with the task of downsizing come decluttering and this can be a daunting for most of us. There are a few who are incredible at “dejunking”, while others might have a harder time letting go. The easiest approach to scaling down is to think small. Start by beginning with a simple, condensed space like a drawer or closet. This will help the entire process to appear achievable. If not, it can begin to feel overwhelming. Spread the project over several weeks or even months. You won’t be able to finish in just one day, because it has likely taken years to get where you are today.

Do Prioritize
Before you evaluate your belongings, set reasonable objectives per week. A drawer a day keeps the clutter away! Once you begin, sort assets into one of three areas – give, keep, and dispose of. When deciding which category, ask yourself only yes-no questions. “Do I really need 10 winter coats?” This closed-ended technique prevents you from second-guessing and limiting progress. Using this decisive method helps to avoid the dreaded maybe pile.

Do Not Wait
Tip – abstain from procrastination by putting a reminder on your calendar with every weekly task to complete. Doing so will help keep you on a good pace for moving day. Never assume you have enough time. A few weeks and months can be a tight deadline if you delay – even after recruiting friends and family.

Do Be Aware of Hoarding Behavior
Collecting junk overtime is normal, however, it can be a serious sign for deeper health issues if it becomes out of control. In seniors dementia or Alzheimer’s is the most common concern. This dangerous way of life can be unsafe, as the likelihood for falling is increased. Another symptom of dementia is forgetting to take medications or letting bills go unpaid. If the aging parent with dementia transitions to Memory Care, family typically left to sort through their belongings may unearth possessions are the senior stashed and had forgotten about.

Do Not Be Too Sensitive
Discarding belongings that are meaningful to us can be devastating. It is recommended with tough decisions, to do your best to take it slow and steady. Be aware of limited storage in the new space and evaluate the need for each item. Ask yourself, “Will I really use this?” Forming a yes-no question will help make more conclusive decisions as well as avoiding the maybe pile.

Do Preserve
Residents are encouraged to decorate their new space with personal belongings. Surrounding ourselves with “stuff” goes a long way toward a new place beginning to feel like home. At Riverwood Senior Living society with Memory Care organizations, residents are offered to keep their favorite findings and personal belongings in a memory box, as opposed to discarding to keep them free from damage or harm.

Do Not Throw It Away
Ask yourself, can this thing be recycled, repurposed, or reused? If you answered yes to the following, don’t just throw it in the garbage! Recall that one man’s garbage is another man’s fortune. In many cases, you can sell your items online or in a yard sale. Not only are you giving your old items a second life but getting some extra cash for your pocket.

Do Reformat
When storing things, think of solutions for items to take up less space more efficiently. For example, this could be preserving loose photos into scrapbooks or digitally stored on the cloud. Similarly, music and movies can now fit onto digital devices or be streamed over online services. 

The time to start decluttering is now! Make downsizing into Riverwood Senior Living an easy and happy transition. For more tips on downsizing seniors, visit: http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/15-9-5-senior-reducing tips/