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4 Steps to Downsizing for Seniors

4 Steps to Downsizing for Seniors

Senior Care Information: How to Downsize in Small Steps

Downsizing is intimidating. But it can be incredibly liberating! The team at Senior Helpers in Mechanicsville understands. So we've created this article about easy downsizing. Downsizing for seniors is all about emotional preparation, attitude, and small, doable steps. 


You'll notice that our guide doesn't suggest you begin the downsizing process by decluttering and tossing "trash." The choice to move and downsize is an emotional one. It can become scary to your senior family member if you start throwing things away immediately.


Instead, begin with a positive attitude towards repurposing some belongings to people in need. 


1. Give Your Senior the Control to Choose and Compromise


It makes sense that older individuals feel nervous about leaving the home they're accustomed to living in. Whether they're moving into an independent care community or a relative's house, seniors can expect to feel some pangs of concern. This doesn't mean they're weak! It means they're attached to a home they've known for years, and downsizing can exacerbate the issue.


  • For seniors with mobility challenges, vision and hearing issues, or memory struggles, these concerns may be quite worrisome.

  • Give your loved one control over their new living space.

  • Take the time to tour several locations before choosing an independent living facility or other situation. 

  • Compare several living situations before making a decision. Give your loved one a feeling of control and choice, but don't overwhelm them.

Once the decision is made, you'll have a better idea of square footage, closet space, amenities, etc. You'll also have a family member who feels positive about the move and ready to be proactive in the process.


2. Host a Weekend Yard Sale


Yard sales can be fun, and a little extra cash is always welcome! These events allow your family member to begin the emotional process of getting rid of some belongings. They can get a reasonable price for:


  • Small kitchen appliances like blenders, fryers, toaster ovens and the like

  • Furniture items — large and small

  • Electronics

  • Designer brand clothing items and accessories

Know that not every item will not sell. That leads us nicely into our next step — donation to the thrift store.


3. Plan a Huge Donation to Goodwill or Salvation Army


Gather the unsold yard sale items and any other usable goods for a donation. We'll assume you've explored a thrift store at least once, so you know the type of clothing, dishes, books and bedding that could help people in need.


4. Get a Safe Deposit Box at the Bank

Now that the home is looking less homey, it's easier to select the essential papers, photos, and mementos to save—and toss the trash. By now, your loved one feels positive about the change. They're less threatened about the downsizing process. Chances are, they've been tossing some clutter along the way. This step is much easier if done towards the end of the process, rather than at the beginning.


At Senior Helpers of Greater Richmond, understand the importance of finding a compassionate and experienced caregiver to partner with. Contact Senior Helpers of Greater Richmond to begin your journey today! As always, if you need to learn more about our senior care services in Mechanicsville, Richmond, Highland Springs, and Quinton, give us a call.