When it comes to retirement, downsizing can seem like a daunting task. Here are some tips to help make the process go as smoothly as possible.

1. Make a List

Looking at all of your belongings as a whole can be overwhelming. By breaking them down into categories and sorting through them one at a time, downsizing becomes a much more manageable task. Start making lists with categories; such as, “Everyday Uses” or “Can’t Live Without”. If something does not fall into an important category or you cannot remember the last time you used it, maybe you should reconsider bringing it with you to your new home.

2. Know Your Future Floor Plan

Being as familiar as possible with your future living space will help you to better envision the furniture layout of your new home. Ask for larger floorplans of your new home. Some communities even offer interactive floorplans that you can use to mock up furniture placement. If you are moving into a retirement community, ask if you can visit someone living in the same size apartment. Not only will this give you an idea of what kind of furniture will fit best in your new home, but you can also get some advice about downsizing from someone who has been in your shoes before.

3. Get an Objective Opinion

It is only natural that you feel a connection to everything you own, but can add an emotional hurdle when deciding what to take and what to leave. Consider bringing in some outside help to evaluate the items you are bringing. Ask a close friend to take a look at your “keep” pile. They will be able to see beyond any emotional connections you might have and help you to decide if, sensibly, the item needs to stay.

4. Take Pictures of Sentimental Belongings

Oftentimes, it is not the physical object that holds sentimental value, just the memories that are attached to it. If something cannot be used or has been sitting in storage for the last few years, consider taking a picture before parting with it. You can upload these pictures to your computer or print them out to keep in a scrapbook. This will save you a lot of space while also allowing you to take a walk down memory lane whenever you want.

5. Start 3 Months Prior to Your Move

Doing any project a little at a time is easier than trying to get everything done all at once. Giving yourself plenty of time to sort through each item will provide you with a chance to think through what you want to bring and help you stay organized. By planning ahead, you will reduce a lot of the stress that comes with moving. Start with the smaller, less meaningful objects and work your way to the bigger decisions. This will help you to avoid rushing at the last minute and throwing everything into the moving van.

6. Multipurpose Furniture

Sometimes downsizing is not just about getting rid of belongings, it is about doing as much as you can with the space you have. Try to find tables for your living room with drawers to add some storage to your living space. In your bedroom, use a bed set that has storage underneath the box spring so that your room can manage with a smaller dresser or closet. Using one piece of furniture to handle two jobs will give you more space to work with while also helping you to avoid clutter.

For information regarding downsizing or moving into a retirement community, contact Riddle Village today.