If you plan on moving into a senior living community, you’ll most likely have to downsize. But, sorting through a lifetime’s worth of memories is not easy. The stress and anxiety of sorting, packing, and moving can be so overwhelming that people avoid it altogether. Fortunately, there are resources to help you get past this barrier. In a recent episode of our podcast, This Day & Age, we sat down with Holland Home’s Michael Loughman and Jeanne Jones of Pathway Senior Movers. These experts had some great tips to share to ease the burden and stress of downsizing. Here are a few highlights. To listen to the full episode, click here.
1. Take Your Time
It’s never too soon to start downsizing! Even if you don’t have solidified plans to move, decluttering and preparing for the future is always helpful in the long run. If you have a set move date, there’s no need to panic. Pathway Senior Movers has experience helping people downsize on all different timelines. Whether you have six weeks or six months, there is no need to feel rushed. Take things day by day, room by room, box by box, and you will get there. Feeling like you need to get things done as quickly as possible will only lead to higher stress and anxiety levels.
2. Stick to One Space At A Time
Jumping around from room to room may seem like a good idea, but it is usually way less efficient. Instead, pick a room or area to start in, and don’t move on until it is 100% completed. It’s easier to concentrate on one thing at a time, and you’ll feel more in control this way as well.   
Bonus tip: Start in an area that has lower sentimental value. For example, it’s probably better to start sorting through cookware instead of the family photo albums.
3. Develop A Sorting System
Everything in your house will be going somewhere, whether with you to your new place, the trash, or a donation center. Pathway utilizes a colored sticker system that makes each item’s destination easily recognizable. But remember, you are allowed to change your mind. If you’re in doubt, keep it for now. You can revisit certain items before the big move.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Input from family and friends can be helpful, and their presence can also be calming during this emotional time. However, you are the final decision maker. It’s your things, and you’re the one who will have to live with or without them.
Are you already feeling better about downsizing? Good! That’s what we’re here for, to be a resource for you and your loved ones. You can listen to the full podcast here and access more podcasts and resources about navigating life’s journey at thisdayandage.org.