If you have family members who are entering retirement, you can see first hand how your loved ones’ needs and wants are changing.
Depending on the circumstances, downsizing can be an opportunity for them to reduce the size of their living space, get rid of belongings they no longer use, minimize expenses or even organize an existing home to make living easier.
More than 76 million are considered Baby Boomers in the United States. The oldest portion of seniors in this generation are now entering their early to mid-70s. If you or your family member is a Baby Boomer, you probably have thought about the benefits of downsizing.
And, while that may seem like the perfect age to reduce living space and belongings, it’s not an easy task. Chances are, you’ve struggled with how to make that significant move.
Senior downsizing experts can help craft a plan for you or your loved one, whether it involves staying in place, or moving into a smaller home or care facility.
Here’s how a compassionate team of experts can provide you with an easier lifestyle during the golden years you deserve.
Downsizing can be a stressful and emotional time for both the homeowner and their family. Saying goodbye to a home and belongings that are full of memories can be draining, especially for those who have physical limitations or medical issues.
A qualified senior downsizing expert can help your loved ones navigate which option is best based on their needs and wishes – and from there, develop an efficient and organized strategy.
Some questions a downsizing expert may cover with your loved one include:
Are you relocating to a smaller home, apartment, condo or assisted living facility?
How does your new home compare to your current home as far as space?
If staying in the current home, are you in need of more space?
In what ways is it difficult to maintain your current home?
Do you want to get rid of items, or store items elsewhere?
What are your most used items that must be easily accessible?
Do you have any limitations that impact activities such as cleaning?
A senior downsizing expert also will help your loved one:
Evaluate how many rooms he or she needs help with
Which items should be sold vs. donated or discarded
What equipment, supplies and staff are needed to accomplish this
When the best time is to downsize and how long the process will take
To read more about what factors may influence when it’s time to make the move, check out our article, When Is It Time To Downsize For Seniors?
Once a plan is put in place, a senior downsizing expert will gather the resources needed to implement the plan. Working with a downsizing expert who is connected to a network of professionals can help ensure the downsizing process goes smoothly.
Professionals that a senior downsizing expert may coordinate with include:
Moving truck companies
Businesses that provide containers and boxes
Financial and tax specialists
Counselors and health care professionals
Senior living communities
Downsizing experts can also help arrange estate or auction sales. When hiring a downsizing expert, make sure both the expert and any associated contractors are insured as well.
Downsizing doesn’t happen overnight. After all, it took a lifetime for you or your loved one to acquire all of the belongings you’re about to sort through. A senior downsizing expert will help your loved one go through each item, with compassion and a careful eye for detail.
Professional downsizing experts will typically:
Coordinate with the client and family members
Identify and pack treasured possessions for relocation
Separate furniture for relocation
Identify and separate items for sale
Identify, pack and transport items to local charities and furniture banks for donation
Identify and transport remaining items for disposal
Prepare items for the moving company by organizing possessions
Downsizing experts also provide an important service for seniors who are not physically capable of organizing or sorting through belongings themselves. Physical conditions or medical problems can create a barrier, leaving you or your loved one frustrated with what feels like an impossible task to complete.
Downsizing is also a very personal and emotional process. As important as it is for a professional to help a homeowner with the logistics and physical nature of downsizing, it’s just as important for a downsizing expert to provide support.
Especially for seniors who want to remain in their current homes, organization services can help remove clutter and downsize the number of belongings in the residence.
Organization is important as seniors age because they need to have easy access to their most used and necessary items. These items can include food, clothing, medications, cleaning products and pet supplies. Entertainment like books, art supplies, movies and music also can feel overwhelming or be inaccessible if too cluttered.
A well-organized household makes life easier and safer for seniors who want to live independently at home.
Other areas of the home senior downsizing experts can help organize include:
The top of shelves and cabinets
Home offices and file cabinets
Bathroom vanities or cabinets
Hallways or stairs that have fall risks
No matter your age, size of home or number of belongings, downsizing can be a time-consuming process.
One of the first things a downsizing professional will do is provide strategies and a plan for reducing belongings. Downsizing is an emotional process, and having a plan drafted by an expert in the field is important. It will streamline the process, help you and anyone assisting stay on track, and provide realistic expectations of how long the process will take.
There’s a lot that goes into downsizing a home – beyond sorting through and removing items. It can take a substantial amount of time to contact and coordinate resources, from trash removal services to movie companies and charities.
Taking on the downsizing efforts for a close family member may mean many of your weekends, nights and other free time will be spent sorting through belongings and arranging the appropriate services. If you’re downsizing your own home, you probably already realize how time-consuming and tiring the process can be.
Working with a senior downsizing expert will save you time and frustration by streamlining the process and taking care of all the details so you can transition to the next stage in your life more quickly.
A senior downsizing expert can help the process of downsizing to a new home or within a current home much smoother – for both the homeowner and entire family.
Downsizing is a very physical, emotional and time-consuming process. Having someone work side-by-side with you or your loved one can be invaluable during what is sure to be a challenging time.
Working with a senior downsizing professional removes a lot of the stress often associated with downsizing, and ensures the best interest of your loved one is always the top priority.