Tips for Making Your Downsizing Experience Less Stressful




Whatever your reason for the change, downsizing can be a great way to usher in the next chapter of your life. And while your golden years should be a time for relaxing, moving homes can be stressful. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the stress throughout the process. From strategizing your purge to hiring movers, here is how to have a good experience.




For many seniors, the hardest part of downsizing is dealing with the emotional attachments to the items that have been in the family for decades. However, purging and decluttering your belongings can also be a liberating process. Perhaps the most important thing to remember about purging is that it will likely take more time than you expect. Rather than trying to get it all done in a single weekend, plan to set aside a month or so to go through all the belongings in your home. That way, you can go room by room and take time to make decisions about what items to keep without stressing about time constraints.


Start with your new home. Considering the amount of space you will have in the new home, as well as the aesthetics of each room, will help you determine how much furniture and other belongings you can take with you. Also, it can help to categorize your items by things you can and can’t live without. More than likely, you end up with more possessions than you can take with you to the new place. If you run out of space for certain sentimental items — such as memorabilia and family heirlooms — consider giving them as gifts to your loved ones or putting them in self-storage. However, be sure to look for the best deals in your area. For instance, you can currently find five-by-five storage units in Laguna Beach, California, for $28 a month.




Once you’ve decided which items to take with you to the new home, you want to make sure you pack them well. This will help ensure that all your items arrive safely at the new place and make unpacking quicker and less stressful. First things first: Get plenty of boxes (you can get a pack of moving boxes at Office Depot for around $15), and make sure there’s a variety of sizes. You don’t want to have to break your packing rhythm with a last-minute search for moving boxes; it’s much better to have some left over!


Along with boxes, be sure to get any other supplies you need — for example, good packing tape ($7.97 at Home Depot) will go a long way. Furthermore, keep all your delicate items grouped together with a “Fragile” sticker on the boxes. This will help you or the movers know where to place the boxes for transport and serve as a reminder to handle the items with care.



While you can do the move yourself or ask friends for help, the time, energy, and gas it takes can take its toll. To help ensure that the moving process is not too stressful, many seniors opt to hire a professional moving service. These companies will typically come out to your home to give an estimate, help you plan the move, and can even do all the packing for you (if you choose). It helps to book four to six weeks in advance, and you should consider purchasing liability insurance with the company to cover any damaged or missing items.


Your golden years are meant to be a time for relaxation, and preparing for your downsize can help start you off on the right foot. Remember to allow enough time for purging, to consider the space in your new home, and to consider storing or giving sentimental items to family members. Also, be sure to get all the packing supplies you need ahead of time and to pack items with safety and convenience in mind. Finally, think about hiring a professional moving company to carry the load and ensure a stress-free experience.

Author: Mike Longsdon

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Comments (1)

  1. Avatar for Gaston Wilder Helena Heyward says:

    Great info. I am trying to get my husband to declutter. IT’S hard.and a slow process.

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