A brightly lit room with stacked moving boxes.

Tips for Decluttering and Downsizing Home for Seniors 

Moving up in life doesn’t always mean buying a bigger house. When you’re retired or close to retirement, you can upgrade your lifestyle by decluttering, downsizing and moving into a senior living community—but it’s difficult to know when the time is right.

Look at common signs your next chapter requires a smaller home in a community like Edgewood Summit, and read 10 tips to help make the process smooth and simple.

Is It Time to Downsize?

No matter your age, life is dynamic and always changing. The large home that worked for raising your family or advancing your career may not match your current retirement lifestyle. However, if you’re like many older adults, you may not know when it’s time to declutter, downsize and simplify your lifestyle.

Here are a few signs you’re ready to downsize and declutter:

  • You have a growing desire to simplify your life.
  • You’d like a smaller home, like an apartment or villa that helps you maintain independence with age.
  • There are empty, unused and cluttered spaces.
  • The cost and physical activity required to maintain the inside and outside of your home is overwhelming.
  • It’s difficult to manage the month-to-month and annual costs of owning a large home.
  • You travel often.

If you’re searching for a smaller space and vibrant social life, consider a senior living community like Edgewood Summit. You can find the perfect floor plan that matches your lifestyle, extraordinary services and amenities to enrich each day, and abundant social opportunities like group activities, community clubs, and a calendar packed with events and activities.

10 Tips on Downsizing for Seniors

No matter what the reason, downsizing can be a stressful and time-consuming process. These tips will help you stay calm and organized as you declutter and downsize.

1. Start early

While it’s tempting to push through the process in one weekend, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time. For some, decluttering and downsizing may only take a couple of weeks, while for others it could take weeks or months. Doing one room at a time will allow you to focus on what you truly need in your next home and give you a way to measure your progress.

2. Look at the details of your new floor plan

The best way to get started on downsizing is by thoroughly reviewing the details of your floor plan. It will not only give you a solid idea of what will fit in your new home, but also give you the opportunity to update your decor. Edgewood Summit offers a variety of floor plans you can view and customize online. Add, arrange, and take away a variety of virtual furniture on each floor plan to see how you might set up your new space.

3. Start with rooms you won’t have in your new home

Decluttering and downsizing is exciting, but it can still feel overwhelming and stressful in the beginning. Starting with rooms you won’t have in your new home or rooms you have little attachment to – like an attic, basement or laundry room – can ease you into the process and make downsizing other areas easier.

4. Get rid of duplicates

While some duplicates serve a purpose – like silverware, dishes and certain clothing accessories – others will just take up space in your new home. You’ll likely notice the most unnecessary duplicates in your kitchen, but don’t forget to go through shoes, office supplies, junk drawers and hobby materials, too.

5. Have large items picked up

Some organizations, like most Goodwill stores and Habitat ReStore locations, offer pickup service for large items that are difficult to transport. You can declutter your home office by scanning important documents into digital files and hiring mobile shredding services to come to your home to destroy and remove unwanted paperwork.

6. Consolidate your collections

Extensive collections that take up a lot of space should be consolidated, because you’ll want room for items in your new home. Choose a few of your favorites to display, ask your family members if they’re interested in keeping any, and donate or sell the rest. Collectibles like sports memorabilia, vintage designer clothing, and rare coins are still highly sought after, but it’s important to do your research and sell your items to someone you trust.

7. Get help from family and friends

On days when you have a lot of work ahead of you, call over a friend, family members, even your grandkids to help. Turn on your favorite music, order a delicious lunch, make snacks and chat the day away, as you work through a room in your house. Take before and after pictures, so everyone can enjoy the results.

8. Dispose of broken and unused items

An easy way to clear any room of clutter is to get rid of broken and unused items. This includes things like tattered rugs that can be a trip hazard, cracked or chipped glass decor, unused appliances, old or broken chairs, and anything that can’t be fixed. Don’t forget to safely dispose of items like old medications, cans of paint, pool chemicals, and lawn and garden treatments like insecticides.

9. Make achievable goals

Schedule a solid block of time to dedicate to one room and set small, achievable goals. For instance, you can schedule time to drop off items you wish to donate, take a couple of hours to carefully pack sentimental items or clean out the kitchen cabinets. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, schedule breaks and stop when you feel tired.

10. Reward yourself

Decluttering and downsizing is hard work! After you’ve finished a room, reward yourself with something fun. It can be anything from taking a relaxing bath, getting out on the golf course or attending a stress-relieving yoga class. Just make sure your reward, like buying new clothes or kitchen supplies, doesn’t create new clutter.

The Lifestyle You’ve Been Looking For Is at Edgewood Summit

Wake up to gorgeous vistas, friendly faces, unmatched hospitality, and endless opportunities for an incredible lifestyle at Edgewood Summit, the only continuing care retirement community in Charleston, WV. Schedule a virtual or in-person visit, contact our team online or call us at 304-346-2323 to learn how you can receive up to 25% off the entrance fees on our most popular apartments.