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As we grow older, we eventually make the difficult decision to downsize to a smaller home. This decision is undoubtedly a stressful time in one’s life – between sorting through belongings, packing, scheduling, and setting up in a new, much smaller space. At times it seems impossible, but downsizing offers a lot of great benefits for seniors such as less yard and house work, easier day-to-day life with getting around the house and up stairs, and no more big vacant rooms that no one has used in years. For anyone beginning the process of downsizing, we have put together some tips to help make the move go a little more smoothly.

Planning ahead will make your move much easier. Have an idea of the size and layout of the new home. That way you can start thinking about where each thing you are bringing will go – even before you have access to the new home. It’s never too early to start sorting through your belongings and weeding out the items you no longer have a use for. Make a plan to encourage yourself to make decisions right away – it can be hard to let go of things that have memories attached. Don’t be afraid to make tough decisions.

Utilize lists. Make a list for everything that needs to be done – from packing, to cancelling or switching utilities.

Don’t forget to ask for help from family members and close friends. Moving is a difficult process and the more hands, the lighter the work. Keep in mind too, that younger friends and family members may want to take some of your old but still useful things. This can work out wonderfully as a way for you to thank them for their help, and for you to get rid of things you no longer need.

Create a box for the first day in your new home – include things like toiletries, prescriptions, basic tools, and kitchen supplies so that you are not scrambling for these things when you need them in the first couple of days of your move.

Downsizing can be difficult process, but there are ways to make the process a little easier on yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and stick to your plan – you’ll get there in no time!