One of the most stressful things about moving is the actual moving. Unless you’re a minimalist, you most likely have years and years of stuff filling whatever space you have available. For seniors thinking about moving to a smaller apartment or assisted living facility, the thought of sorting through all of your clothes, furniture, knick-knacks, pictures, memorabilia, heirlooms, etc can be overwhelming. Moving is never easy, but the more planning you can do upfront the easier the transition. So you ask, “Where do I even begin?”

Helpful hints to simplify your move

  1. Don’t expect to do it in one pass. If you’ve been in your home for 20 years, you can’t possibly get through it all in a week. Be patient and focus on certain areas of your home. Maybe start in a spare bedroom or do a first sweep where you get rid of things you absolutely know you don’t want. It’s definitely a process and breaking it down into manageable tasks will help.
  2. If you haven’t watched “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix, where have you you been? Seriously though, one of the best questions she forces you to ask when trying to sort through stuff is, “Does it spark joy?” So once you are down to the hard part, when it seems like you can’t possibly go any further, ask “Does it spark joy?” Do you have 15 pair of jeans but usually wear your favorite two or three pair all of the time because they bring you the most joy? Easy peasy!
  3. It’s probably best to “rightsize” before you list your house. It will help make your house more show ready, which makes your house more marketable.
  4. If you have kids or grandkids, call them. It’s likely you have a special place in your home for old games, yearbooks, pictures, clothes and memorabilia that you are storing for your kids because you can’t bear to part with it. Ask your kids or grandkids to come go through those items and take what they intend to keep.
  5. Keep things out that you’ll need once you move. Any financial information, checkbooks, etc. The last thing you’ll want is to be sifting through boxes for something you need to get into your new home.
  6. Hire a moving professional, not just a mover. They can help you plan and stay on top of things that you may not think about. You will be thankful for the help and you will be thankful that you are not carrying the stress alone.

Moving is always stressful and if you are moving into a smaller place after years and years in the same home, it can be even more stressful. Having less stuff will free your spirits to embrace your retirement years and live a maintenance-free life.