Your house holds a lifetime of memories, and it can be hard to know where to begin when it comes to downsizing to move into an assisted living community. While both the Studio and Studio Deluxe floor plans at Park Regency Loveland have a generous amount of storage space, it’s undoubtedly less than what you’re accustomed to.
The good news is that decluttering isn’t just a necessity when you’re moving — it’s actually good for you. According to a study from the University of Connecticut, decluttering can make it easier to concentrate, cut down on feelings of anxiety and help you feel more productive. Downsizing can be freeing, letting you let go of items you no longer need and gain a deeper appreciation for the mementos and personal items you decide to hang on to.
In many cases, decluttering is a process that takes weeks or even months. Giving yourself plenty of time to go through this process and following a few tips can help it go smoothly.
Whether you’re moving into an assisted living community or you’re a current resident and your living space has become too crowded for comfort, it’s important to set some decluttering ground rules. The focus of downsizing your belongings is just as much on what you’re keeping as what you’re letting go of. In the end, your goal is to eliminate items that are no longer useful to you and find places of honor for the items you choose to keep.
Depending on the type of items you’ve accumulated, ground rules for decluttering may include:
When it comes to decluttering, it’s easy to overthink the process. Agonizing over every item to determine whether it goes in the donation bin or has a place in your home is time-consuming and can lead you to keep things you’d ultimately be happier getting rid of. As you’re going through your belongings, go with your instinct. If you look at an item and your immediate thought is to donate or toss it, follow that; don’t talk yourself into keeping it. Similarly, if the thought of getting rid of a deeply sentimental item causes a lot of sadness, it may be better for you to keep that memento.
While your studio apartment provides space for personal items, there will inevitably be sentimental items you won’t be able to keep. Pieces of furniture, musical instruments, extensive collections and large works of art may not fit in your space. In this case, taking pictures of beloved items can be a great way to memorialize your belongings before donating them.
If you’re planning to move to an assisted living community within the next few months, you may feel overwhelmed as you look around your home and wonder how you’re going to make a smaller living environment work for you. Instead of tackling your entire house at once, start small. Whether it’s committing to decluttering a specific room or a category of belongings, such as clothing or financial documents, breaking the mission down into manageable tasks can make it less intimidating.
Before making the move to a residential community, you can take some of the stress out of downsizing by committing a certain amount of time each day to clearing out clutter. Spending 15 minutes in the morning and another 15 minutes in the evening going through your things can spare you from physically and emotionally exhausting work later on.
Even after you move into an assisted living community, you may find your collection of belongings grows. Maybe you have a creative hobby or enjoy participating in the arts and crafts classes at the community or Chilson Senior Center, but you’re running out of room to display your creations. You may have to stay in the routine of regular decluttering. Donating your creations (after taking pictures to remember your work) can help you keep your space tidy, peaceful and clutter-free.
Taking on a task like decluttering is much easier when it’s done with a partner. A friend or family member can help you stay objective throughout the process, provide encouragement and even take care of some of the heavy lifting. By asking for help, you can make the process of downsizing much easier and more efficient.
Living in an assisted living community provides a worry-free lifestyle for retirees. While decluttering can be a challenge, the result is a home filled only with personal items that are meaningful to you and bring you joy. Contact us today to learn about how we can ease your transition to assisted living.
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