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Transitional Considerations in Downsizing Your Home Before a Move

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Posted on August 29th, 2018 by Teri Dreher, under Medical Planning, Patient Tools, Tips & Resources

Although we may wish we could stay in our homes forever, it’s not always the case

We’re all for seniors staying in their homes. Just see our recent blog on the very subject – here. But sometimes staying in place isn’t an option. When the time comes for a senior to consider moving out of the home, considerations must be made on how – and what- to downsize. Wealth managers can be a great resource for help. Here are our top tips for downsizing a home in preparation for a move.

1. Plan, plan, and plan some more

As the old adage says, you don’t plan to fail,  you fail to plan. Having a game plan before you start the process of downsizing is essential. This can include a concrete written document like a will, saying how your possessions will be handled in the case of emergency, or even a simple mind map of what you want to keep and what you’re okay with letting go of. The point is, you don’t just start packing things up unless you’ve given thought to packing, sorting, selling, and setting up. And on the subject of setting up…

2. Assess where you’re going

Of course, this step may be considered part of the planning process, but it’s important enough to be examined on its own. What sort of room will you have in your new place? Or, if you’re helping a friend or family member move, what’s the house or room layout of where they’re going? Nothing is more irritating than putting the effort into packing, making space, and moving something (like a large piece of furniture) just to realize there’s no room for it where you’re going.

3. Sell what you can, and give the rest away!

Parting with items you’ve been attached to for years can be really difficult. Selling items for value can give some piece of mind that it may be going to someone who will treasure it as much as you did. Yard sales can be an easy way to size up who you’re giving your stuff away to. Outside of yard sales, there are plenty of resources getting rid of stuff. Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and consignment shops are just a few. If you’re getting stuff that you’re not particularly attached to, these resources are even better. And if you’re having a hard time selling, giving away to organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army can really help those in need. 

4. When it comes time for packing and moving, start with the big stuff

When my dad used to help me move apartments or dorms in college, he always told me to image my stuff as tetris pieces. He always had fun with it, and I appreciated it! He had a point, too. Moving can be exhausting, and starting with the big stuff will ensure you’re using your energy wisely. Plus, once the big stuff is moved into the new place, it’ll be easier to visualize where the small stuff can go.

5. Be kind to yourself

Like we just said, moving is hard. Downsizing isn’t any easier. Along with the actual physical work involved, there can be a huge emotional strain are trying to downsize items that hold great sentimental value to you. Back to the old adages, love is patient, love is kind. Don’t beat yourself up for having a hard time getting rid of things you love. Same with moving helpers. If you’re helping a senior family member or friend, give them time to grieve the items they’re cutting out of their life. This is our best tip because it applies to everything, across the board. My rule of thumb is to try to treat myself with as much kindness and understanding as I would my grandmother or father. Besides, kinder people make for a kinder world. And who can argue with wanting that?

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

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