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An effortless transition

Downsizing doesn’t have to be painful

Created date

October 23rd, 2012

Objects hold memories. A shirt, a plate, a piece of artwork, a knickknack. We often hold onto these objects that collect piles of dust because we remember exactly from whom or where we got them. Maybe that s one of the reasons why moving can be so stressful because moving ultimately means letting go. But we, ourselves, contain the memories. Realizing this can make letting things go and moving on to the next chapter in our lives easier. Many times this means downsizing, or getting rid of those physical objects.

Simplifying life by downsizing

Downsizing helps people simplify their lives, says Kimberly Schoeberlein, personal moving consultant atRiderwood, an Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Md. Most people who move to Riderwood downsize from a house to an apartment home. In preparing for the next chapter of their lives, it s important for people to bring forward the memories and things they cherish the most to make Riderwood a home and to release all the extra stuff they don t need, Schoeberlein says. Schoeberlein provides complimentary in-home consultations for members of the community s priority list to assess their downsizing needs. Additionally, she works closely with accredited downsizing and staging professionals Let s Move, LLC (, to make each person s move to Riderwood effortless and stress-free. All the residents need to do is decide on what makes the move with them. We can even help them with this, and we can handle everything else, says Kim McMahon, president and cofounder of Let s Move. In fact, Let s Move takes care of every logistical aspect of the move downsizing, organizing, removal of unwanted items, packing, unpacking so that those moving to Riderwood don t have to lift a finger, if that s what they choose.

Changing lifestyle needs

The bottom line is, if [people] have room, [they] will keep it, McMahon says. When we work with people to downsize, we re helping individuals release their history in a sensitive and compassionate fashion. Always in our lives our lifestyle needs are changing, and we re not keeping up with those changes. As life evolves, our lifestyle needs change. Let s Move specializes in the downsizing process because we re able to prioritize and understand the residents lifestyle needs as a non-biased third party, McMahon adds. And we work with them to make sure, in moving forward, these needs are met through organization. Both Schoeberlein and McMahon recommend downsizing gradually and taking it slowly. If your intention is to move to a community like Riderwood in two years, start downsizing now with one unemotional space like a pantry, a Tupperware drawer, or a medicine cabinet. Don t spend a lot of time you can even set a timer and don t be afraid to throw things away. After all, spices last one year, and medicine has an expiration date for a reason! A good rule of thumb: if you haven t used it for a year, get rid of it. You can also maintain sentimental items without cluttering up the home. McMahon suggests keeping one item from a collection like plates or knickknacks in order to preserve the memory and then gift the rest. Be generous, McMahon says.

Knowing your new space

McMahon and Schoeberlein work together to lay out the floor plan in residents new apartment homes at Riderwood so people know exactly how much space they have and what will fit. Let s Move not only handles all of the move logistics, but they even expedite the process on move day, having residents moved in and unpacked in a matter of hours. Our goal is to have everyone unpacked compliments of Riderwood and Let s Move the day of move-in so that it feels like home from day one, Schoeberlein says. Moving doesn t have to be stressful; it can be exciting. After all, moving means starting a new life adventure. Our goal is to help ease the transition for residents, McMahon says. We want them not to be burdened by move logistics, but rather we want them to gain the wonderful lifestyle advantages Riderwood has to offer and start that new, exciting chapter of life.