Tips for Downsizing
Whether you’re moving into a smaller home after the kids have left the roost or you’re helping your parents transition to a nursing home or senior center, it can be daunting to sift through a lifetime of possessions to reduce the amount of things you need to store. Follow these helpful tips to make this transition easier and more organized.
Know how much space your new living environment offers and decide how much you will be able to comfortably store. Make a list of those items you absolutely must keep and start from there. Be committed to keeping only the most often-used items in the interest of saving space. Give non-essential or sentimental items to relatives or friends who will enjoy them just as much as you do.
If you have a lot of special decorative items but not a lot of space, a room can quickly begin to look jumbled. As a solution, set up your treasures on a rotating basis. Use wall-mounted shelves to display favorite treasures and keep one box full of small items that will fit on the shelves. Rotate the collection over a few months to keep the display fresh.
It’s easy to generate a lot of paperwork after living in one place for so long. Designate a small portable file solution to house important documents, records and files. Information about health insurance, finances, etc. should be easy to access. Clearly label the box so that if necessary, it can be accessed by others.
Clear boxes are terrific because you can quickly see through them. Choose boxes that stack for the ultimate in space efficiency, however be careful not to stack too many together — it will be difficult to get the ones at the bottom. Adding a freestanding shelving unit will divide the space and make it easy to access all of the storage boxes. For senior citizens, choose storage boxes with an easy-to-open lid. Open bins are also great options for easy access to frequently used items that don’t need to be protected from dust.
Clear out the clutter in walkways and hallways. Make sure items that need to be reached frequently are stored on lower shelves. Look for step stools with a wide base and comfortable handrail. Make sure cords are bundled and tucked safely out of the way.