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7 Downsizing Tips for Seniors

Senior man working on laptop in the garden

If you’re like many older adults, retiring from work also means retiring from the hassles of homeownership by downsizing to a retirement community. Moving to independent living means you can switch weekends mowing the lawn for swimming laps in the pool and a sink full of dirty dishes for a delicious meal in a beautiful dining venue.

However, before you can indulge in everything retirement communities like John Knox Village offer, you need to downsize and declutter your current household items. Look at this list packed with seven tips on how to get started, stay organized, and get through the process as stress-free as possible. 


1. Check the details of your floor plan

Look at the size of each room in your floor plan to get a better idea of what will fit in your new home. See if it can accommodate your current furniture, or if you need to find smaller pieces. Check the storage space, including the bedroom closets, linen closets and kitchen cabinets. Knowing the amount of storage space available in your floor plan will help you eliminate items like bulky kitchen appliances and extra linens that you probably won’t need in your new home. 

You can virtually customize senior living floor plans available at John Knox Village. Just click on the floor plan that fits your lifestyle, select “interactive floor plan,” and explore your options by adding, moving and rearranging virtual furniture. 


2. Make a reasonable timeline

You should start the downsizing process as soon as possible to give yourself time to sort through each room of your current home. It’s best to make a reasonable, yet flexible, timeline that focuses on one room at a time, because some areas may take longer than others. By starting early and making a plan, you have plenty of time for tasks like scheduling donation pick ups, trimming down your wardrobe, and sorting through old paperwork.


3. Think about your new lifestyle

As you start downsizing to move to a retirement community, consider how you’d like to spend your time using the amenities, programs and activities. For example, if you plan on working on your physical fitness routine, you might not need to bring a bulky treadmill to your new home; communities like John Knox Village provide fully equipped fitness centers steps from your front door. John Knox Village also has an arts and crafts studio filled with all the tools and space you need to engage your creative side, which means you can downsize your collection of supplies. 


4. Stick to a simple sorting method

Another reason to start early is to give yourself time to find a simple sorting and decluttering method that works for you. Many people have found success with the Four-Box Method, because it restricts what you can do with a particular item to only four options: keep, donate, trash/recycle, sell. Be sure to quickly remove donate and trash/recycle boxes from your home. This will give you less opportunity to retrieve items from the boxes and help you measure your downsizing progress. 


5. Get creative with collections and sentimental items

Express your creativity by displaying your hard-earned collections. Consider framing or shelving items like concert tickets, model cars, souvenirs, and other trinkets. Do you have a family member with photography skills? Ask them to artfully take pictures of your favorite sentimental items  and have them printed on canvas. Turning these items into art you can proudly display in your new home will give them refreshed sentimental value and allow you to keep them as part of your decor.  


6. Look for ways to have fun

Downsizing will come with difficult moments, but there’s also a lot of room for fun! Turn sorting through holiday decorations in the attic or basement into a reason to have a pizza party with your children and grandchildren; purchase a nice blend of coffee and delicious donuts for a Saturday spent decluttering your garage or office; or stop for ice cream after dropping off donations. 


7. Bring in help from the experts

Downsizing to a retirement community and selling a home at the same time can be overwhelming. At John Knox Village, we do everything we can to make your move into our community as stress-free as possible. Our Move Assist Program (MAP) provides a variety of professional moving services with all entrance fee and lease contracts. Experts will guide you every step of the way by helping make your current home market-ready to help it sell faster and at the highest possible price. We also make sifting, sorting and packing of your belongings easier and more efficient.


Your Path to an Extraordinary Retirement Starts at John Knox Village

Whether you’re looking for an apartment home, cottage, villa or single-family home, John Knox Village has a senior living floor plan in Lee’s Summit that’s just right for your next chapter. If you’re interested in a lifestyle that exceeds your expectations, contact our retirement community online or call us at 816-892-4294 to schedule a tour.

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