A senior man and woman looking at photos as they downsize.

How and When to Downsize

Downsizing can be an opportunity for older adults to optimize their residence to their lifestyle — for that reason, many people prefer the term rightsizing. With a little guidance and a few downsizing tips for seniors, the process can be very rewarding.

Is It Time to Downsize?

Some older adults put off rightsizing their belongings because the task seems daunting, but others don’t take it on because it simply hasn’t occurred to them yet.

How many people are living with you?

If just you or you and your spouse live in your residence currently, ask yourself how much space you really need. You may have raised your family in a house, but your kids have grown and moved away, and you haven’t reconsidered your square footage.

How many rooms in your residence do you use regularly?

Take stock of how many rooms you have in your house. Then consider how many you really live in. Do you need more than one guest room? How many items in your basement or garage might become obsolete in a smaller residence?

How much time do you want to spend on home maintenance?

Maybe you can mow the lawn, clean the gutters, unclog the sinks, and deep-clean the carpet — but do you really want to? If you’re at the point in your life when you’d rather be traveling, spending time with loved ones, or pursuing your passions, a smaller residence (perhaps with housekeeping and maintenance services) would allow you to focus on what really matters to you.

Downsizing Tips for Seniors

If your current residence is filled with items you’ve accumulated for decades, you may look around you and think, “I don’t know where to begin.” You’re not alone in feeling a little overwhelmed, but a few downsizing tips for seniors can help you break down the process into manageable steps.

Think About Your Next Space

It’s most helpful to know the exact residence you’ll be moving to, but even imagining the type of place you see yourself in can help you make decisions about what to downsize. Do you see yourself in a 3-, 2-, 1-bedroom, or even a studio?

Organize Your Categories

As you go through your belongings, you can quickly sort them based on where you think they should go. Separate items you’d like to:

  • Pass down to loved ones
  • Sell
  • Donate
  • Toss or recycle
  • Keep

You may go through more than one round of this organizational process. Often, the Keep  category is bigger than is ideal after the first round. Keep in mind all the people who would benefit from your items and all the good you’ll do.

Honor the Downsizing Process

If you’re considering moving from a long-time residence, take this opportunity to celebrate the wonderful memories you’ve made in the space. When moving feels bittersweet, it’s often because you’ve shared wonderful moments in that residence. Remember, honor and revel in those moments. You can even plan a party or a potluck to allow your family to come and celebrate the space.

But keep in mind all the exciting opportunities that will open up for you when your environment is optimized to your needs and lifestyle. Brilliant moments are ahead of you as well, and new memories are ready to be made. Balancing nostalgia with anticipation for the future will make the downsizing process more enjoyable.

Downsize and Live Life to the Fullest with Canterbury Court

If you’re ready to downsize or to simply enjoy the maintenance-free living and vibrant lifestyle of a premier senior living community, Canterbury Court offers an array of floor plans to suit your preferences. Try our Floor Plan Finder tool to discover which options might suit you best.

Independent living residents make use of the plentiful services and amenities to enhance their already active lives. You can hear all about what residents love about living here, and if you’d like to find out more about the community, reach out to us. We’d be happy to answer your questions.