7 Helpful Tips for Downsizing Seniors’ Homes

If you have a family member planning to transition into a new residence or retirement community setting, it is a perfect time to begin the downsizing process. Moving out of one’s current home can be an overwhelming and stressful process, no matter how long you’ve lived there. It’s best to start early and give your loved one plenty of time to make important decisions.

The following tips and suggestions are designed to make this difficult transition easier for everyone involved.

  • SAFETY FIRST. Start by clearing the clutter on steps to prevent accidents and falls. If the clutter in question poses a direct risk to the health and safety of your family member, it might be time to talk with them about the dangers of hoarding.
  • PLAN ACCORDING TO THE MOVE. If your loved one is relocating from a four-bedroom house to a two-bedroom apartment, consider his or her new lifestyle.
  • KEEP IT SIMPLE. START SMALL. Going through a lifetime’s worth of belongings is no small task. Break the process up into easily managed increments.
  • ENLIST FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS TO HELP. Help can go a long way in making every move more manageable. Your loved one might like to take this opportunity to bequeath treasured belongings to children, grandchildren, friends, etc.
  • SELL DONATE OR DISCARD. Minimizing items can significantly reduce moving costs. Identify essential items then break up the remaining possessions into 3 categories.
  • FOCUS ON THE 3 P’S. Paperwork: Carefully sort through all financial documents, letters and cards. Retain and discard any non-essential documents. Shred documents with personal information, account IDs and social security numbers. Pills: According to the U.S. FDA, almost all medicines can be thrown away in the household trash. Pictures: Help your loved one sort through photographs, keeping only the important ones and sharing the rest with family members.
  • STOP COLLECTING. This is not the time to buy new items. If you believe that a loved one is hoarding, there are resources available to help.

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Karla Casertano, Realtor, SRES, RRS – RE/ MAX Select Real Estate. She can be reached at 412-287-5541 or by email at KarlaCasertano@remax.net. Visit her website at www.casertano-reagent.com