Downsizing is a big task, which is why it’s no surprise that many of us put it off until it’s absolutely necessary … which results in many of us having homes that we love but are filled with clutter and stuff we simply don’t need. This can be a challenge for seniors or other people who are moving from a larger home into a smaller space. Sure, you may not be ready to downsize just yet, but it’s something that should be in your mind if you’re an older adult, says Ashley Lodi, Executive Director of Azpira at Windermere, an Assisted Living and Memory Support community providing thoughtful and award-winning care to seniors.
“It’s a lot easier to move into a smaller space if you’ve already downsized beforehand,” she says. “That’s why it’s helpful for older adults to come up with a plan before it’s necessary so you can create a space that’s comfortable, welcoming and cozy. Plus, it’s a great way to kick off spring and get you motivated for a less-stressed and more organized year ahead.”
Eliminating clutter can result in a lot of benefits – some physical, some mental and some emotional. Ashley says that many residents at Azpira at Windermere find that their lives have improved greatly by getting rid of all their “stuff” so they can better enjoy their personal space.
“I’ve heard some of our residents say that they can’t fathom how they ever had so much stuff after they’ve been here for a while,” she says. “It just goes to show that having stuff isn’t what makes you happy; it’s what you do with the stuff and your space that creates a happy home.”
The Benefits of Downsizing
You get much more organized.
Downsizing from a large space to a smaller home necessitates the elimination of clutter. Even if you already live a minimalist lifestyle, a smaller home simply won’t have the same floor plan and number of rooms as your old home. Think about the rooms you use on a regular basis in your current home. Chances are you probably only use three or four on a daily basis, while other rooms are for special occasions that take place once a year (or less). This leaves other rooms to become catch-alls of junk and clutter that are a pain to clean and maintain. By downsizing, you eliminate those unnecessary things and leave you with the essentials that you use the most and that give you the most joy.
You have less stress.
It may sound a little New Age-y, but the truth is that people are more stressed in a cluttered environment than they are in a simpler environment. One New York Times article speaks to the “unbearable heaviness of clutter,” which results in dissatisfaction, stress and higher cortisol levels in the body. On the other hand, getting rid of things you don’t need that are simply filling space in your home provides a sense of relief and lightness and will increase your enjoyment of your home, whether you’re in a smaller space or not.
You can age in place much more easily.
Most seniors choose to downsize to a home that’s more accessible than their current family home. Oftentimes, this means a home that has only one floor, eliminating the need for stairs. If you choose to move into a senior-specific community that is designed for the needs of those 62 and older, you’ll also benefit from a community that’s accessible, is filled with safety features and has other benefits for older adults. All this means you’ll be able to live at “home” for much longer, allowing you to age in place in your golden years.
You give yourself and your children peace of mind.
Downsizing now before you necessarily “need it” means that you are taking the burden of that task off the shoulders of your children. Oftentimes, when older adults have an accident or it becomes absolutely necessary to move into assisted living, their adult children end up having to sort through possessions and figure out what to do with everything. This can be very stressful for everyone involved. But when you choose to downsize on your own time, on your own terms, you are giving a gift to yourself and your loved ones. You’re able to get rid of the things you don’t want, keep the things that truly matter and are able to hand off items and heirlooms to family members who will treasure them. You also have the chance to see what items no one wants and get rid of them.
You gain more free time.
Having less stuff means fewer chores and tasks. When you move into a smaller space, you spend less time caring for your home, which means you’re able to spend more time on the things you enjoy, like traveling, relaxing or picking up a new hobby. And if you move into a senior living community, you’ll get to say goodbye to even more chores thanks to the maintenance-free lifestyle.
As you can see, choosing to downsize your home allows you to enjoy your space a lot more – you could even say that you’re “upsizing” your lifestyle. So whether you’re planning on making the move into a smaller space in the near future or if it’s years away, here are some great tips for helping you achieve your downsizing goals.
- Start planning now.
As you can see, it’s better to seize the day rather than wait for the decision to be made for you. Begin your downsizing plan early and set achievable goals. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page, and will eliminate issues down the road.
- Figure out what type of lifestyle you want.
How would you like to live as you move forward into your golden years? Do you want to live in an apartment, or perhaps a patio home? Would you like a more active style where your home is a “home base” from which to launch out from adventures, or do you plan on being more of a homebody? This can help you decide what items you’ll want to keep and what you’ll want to say goodbye to.
- Adapt a multipurpose approach.
Can your second bedroom double as a home office? What about an entertainment area that also can transform into a dining space? Think about different types of storage solutions and furniture options that can do double duty. You’ll be able to do more with less and ensure a clean, uncluttered space at the same time.
- Consider hiring an expert.
Sometimes, it’s easier to let someone else make the decisions for you. There are a variety of companies and professionals who specialize in helping individuals downsize their possessions, pack belongings and get everything ready for a move to a smaller space.
Live Well. Age Well. Be Well.
At Azpira at Windermere, located in Windermere, FL, we’re redefining how older adults Live Well. Age Well. Be Well. Our lifestyle is far from “typical.” Our vibrant and engaging Assisted Living and uplifting A Knew Day® Memory Support inspires our residents to live passionately with purpose, every single day.
Step outside your apartment and you’ll experience a community offering thoughtful and award-winning VIVA! programs that are proven to enhance your life spiritually, mentally and physically. Azpira at Windermere’s team of specially trained wellness professionals are passionate about building unique relationships with every resident and guiding older adults as they set new goals, forge new relationships and live life at their own pace.
Azpira at Windermere is all about creating an environment that is ahead of the curve in wellness, fitness, spirituality, technology and preventative care. As the times and technology are changing, so are we. Residents and their families, along with our Resident Care Manager, will meticulously build a wellness plan that addresses medicine distribution, fitness objectives, nutrition needs and socialization goals.
Get excited about life at Azpira at Windermere. Our team is eager to guide you on the path you want to live – whether it’s enjoying your own city, exploring new ones, spending time with old friends or spearheading a program of your own, this is your time to live the life you want with the luxury you deserve.
To learn more or to schedule a personal visit, contact us at 407-278-8508.