Live with Less – Downsizing for Seniors

I’m in my mid-40’s and my circle of friends and I are finding ourselves in positions of having to navigate our aging parents’ refusal to grown old gracefully and their determination to keep the homes that they have paid off, or nearly paid off; that may or may not be working for them anymore.  These homes were great to raise children in, but now there are too many stairs, or the restroom isn’t accommodating their needs, or the yard maintenance has become overwhelming.

Suggested Reading: Arizona’s Home Plus Program

Along with these factors, the accumulation of “stuff” over the past 30 years is taking up too much room and could potentially become hazardous to their living environment.

For some seniors, living out their golden years without all of the “stuff” they’ve acquired brings them joy, yet to others, they are excited to clean house…literally.  Any way it goes, if your parent’s house is too crowded, it may be necessary for family or friends to sit down with their loved one and discuss their options when the time arrives, I’m sure you’ve figured out which position I am in.  So, my siblings and I learn to approach the topic of downsizing and moving gently and compassionately.

After the decision has been made to proceed with the process, these tips for downsizing for seniors will help families and their aging loved ones through the process with minimal stress.

Step #1: Make a Plan

Downsizing can be stressful. That’s why it is imperative to begin planning early on to help determine the goals and what needs to happen to get it done.  Create lists and goals; seniors appreciate a helpful reminder of what tasks are ahead.  don’t forget to share copies of the lists for those planning to assist with the transition in any way so that everyone stays on the same page. Keep in mind, for all parties involved, the more details included on the planning list, the better things are likely to go.

Step #2: Is It Necessary?

Once you begin the de-cluttering and downsizing process you can start to purge.  This can be the most difficult part of downsizing because we can (all) be sentimental of certain personal items.

When seniors or their families are trying to determine which ‘pile’ and item should go into, ask the following questions until an answer guides your hand.

  • Is it necessary?
  • Does the senior really want it?
  • Are their multiples of this item?
  • Is this utilized regularly?
  • Is their sentimental value to the item?
  • Is it of significant financial value?
  • Will this fit into the smaller space?
  • Would a family member appreciate the item or use it?

Assisting someone to rid their material items is a long and sometimes challenging process.  It will take patience, time and perserverance to complete the downsizing.

Step #3: Bring in a Pro

When all else fails, consider calling on a professional. If you find your loved one beginning to feel too pressured, find themselves short on time or simply prefer that a professional comes in and helps with the planning and downsizing, there is help.

Service providers can help with the downsizing process in multiple ways as little as one needs or as much as they desire.

The Certo Team
55 N. Arizona Place Suite #103
Chandler, AZ 85225

Contact a licensed housing specialist now! 602-429-6789