The Vale Living are proud to offer home owners expert advice from our partners, downsizing experts The Senior Move Partnership. Amanda Fyfe and Michelle Park – Directors at Senior Move Partnership Ltd – have kindly shared some key top tips below.
The Senior Move Partnership share their tips on reducing the stress of relocating and rightsizing in later life.
Rightsizing and moving on to a new chapter in life can and should be a positive and liberating experience. When moving to retirement living it is generally the decluttering element of the process that is the most daunting for the client. These are our top tips for tackling this:
- Write a list of favourite possessions. Choose a few must-keeps from each room and then it will gradually become clear which are less important.
- If possible, sort and cut down gradually over a period of weeks or months. A cupboard or drawer a day perhaps, so that it feels manageable.
- Try the ‘four boxes’ technique. Label them keep, sell, donate and tip and sort accordingly. You can always move items from one box to another until you are happy with your decision.
- Start at the top and work down. The attic or loft is most likely the place where many possessions are simply in storage. Start here and work on the basis that if something hasn’t been used or needed for ages then it could be discarded.
- Items of memorabilia can be offered to a family member or friend who may be interested. If they don’t want them, they can safely be sold or donated to charity.
- Consider the floorplan of the rooms in the new home and compare them with the size of a room in the existing home. This way you can work out which items of furniture will fit and which can be sold or donated.
- Cut down on numbers, especially in the kitchen and dining room. A lesser number of place-settings of cutlery and crockery might suffice for the new home, likewise fewer pans and cooking utensils. Will you be entertaining? Will you be eating out more?
- Just take the best of everything to the new home and (especially if it has always been kept only for best), start to enjoy using it!
- If you are still struggling with downsizing, you could use the ‘is it unique or special’ tactic. An original painting is going to be worth keeping over and above a familiar print. A ‘classic’ hardback book over a recent paperback thriller.
- What else won’t be needed in the new home? Have you still got a video recorder or record player? Is it worth keeping those LPs, cassettes or videos if there is no longer a player that will play them? Are the golf clubs still in play? The lawnmower may be redundant too if someone else will be handling gardening at the new place.