When it comes to downsizing, small steps make a big difference

Created date

February 14th, 2019
A woman in a pink shirt packs kitchen items into cardboard boxes

The one-room-at-a-time approach to downsizing will help you stay on task. Don’t move on to other rooms before you’re finished!

As you plan to move to a retirement community, you may be dreading downsizing. Don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. I recently moved from a house to a smaller living space, so I know firsthand how overwhelming it can seem. But never fear. Like me, you can do it. And you’ll be amazed at how happy and proud you’ll be when you’ve cleared all the clutter.

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned about downsizing that should help you:

Focus on the most overwhelming area of your house first. Whether it’s your home office stacked with papers, your basement full of boxes, or a spare bedroom that’s become your catchall space, it’s better to start where the most work needs to be done. Tackling other less challenging rooms later will feel almost effortless.

Pick a corner. Focusing on just one area of the room at a time makes the job much more manageable. If you’re decluttering a home office, start with just one desk drawer or filing cabinet. If you’re working on your basement, go through one box at a time. This systematic approach will help you stay on task.

Don’t move on until you’re finished. If you jump back and forth between different areas of your house, you and your living space may become too disorganized. Taking a one-room-at-a-time approach is the absolute best way to ensure success.

Sort items into three simple categories. As you touch each item in a room, ask yourself, “Am I taking this to my new home, offering it to someone else, or should it just go in the trash?”

Designate a room where you’ll store everything you’re selling, donating, or offering to family members. Bring items to that room and then close the door! This will reduce the temptation to revisit things you’ve already decided you no longer want or need. It will also allow for easy removal once you’re ready.

The benefits of a home visit

Perhaps the first small step you can take on your downsizing journey is to pick up the phone and schedule a home visit with your Erickson Living community’s personal moving consultant. We have dedicated our careers to helping people just like you with the downsizing and decluttering process.

During a home visit, you and your personal moving consultant can identify the type of support you need. Then she’ll connect you with professionals who are experts in your area.

Your trash may be someone else’s treasure

Your personal moving consultant knows of many organizations that will happily take items you’re ready to part with. She can also match you with specific charities that support veterans, the homeless, animal rights, and other causes that are important to you.

Cash in on old collectibles

Some of the things you’re parting with may be valuable. Your personal moving consultant can recommend trustworthy and reliable online auctioneers who will photograph your items, list them, sell them, and even package and ship them to the new owner.

Let us do the heavy lifting

If you’d rather leave the entire task of downsizing to someone else, we can help with that too. Your personal moving consultant can arrange for a licensed downsizing specialist to come to your home and handle the entire process of sorting, discarding, and donating items with your supervision.

Savor your success

Downsizing isn’t easy, but it’s worth it! When you sort through the last closet, and the last box of donations is taken off your doorstep, you’ll experience an incredible sense of accomplishment. Most importantly, you’ll be ready to take the next important step—crossing the threshold to an exciting new lifestyle at your new Erickson Living home.