All your life, you've managed a household; from cleaning and cooking to paying the bills and maintaining your home. As you age, you notice it's not as easy as it used to be. Things tend to pile up- LOTS of things! Clutter in your home can be dangerous at any age, but it is especially for those who are aging, as this clutter can be a trip hazard, and can even cause health problems if there are unsanitary conditions. Let's take a walk through the house to learn how some simple organization can make life a whole lot easier, enjoyable, and safe for the aging population...
Decades of treasures, from china to knick-knacks and collectibles to furniture, adorn the walls and floors of the home you've lived in for the last 10, 20, 40, or 50+ years. When you're downsizing into a smaller home or apartment, there is simply not enough space to store it all. And, as hard it is to let these things go, you've realized these are only things. You've enjoyed them and now it is time to allow someone else to enjoy them, so that you can enjoy your new home with the pieces that mean the most to you. Now, you wonder, how do I get rid of all this stuff?! There is no easy answer to that question, as each person's situation is completely different, but here are a few standard options:
It's no secret - moving is stressful! First of all, there is organizing it all! Then there is packing, discarding, cleaning, and paperwork. If you don't keep it all together - everything you need for your move to be organized - then there is also constant searching, questioning, and unpreparedness. If you found this post, I imagine being unprepared is the last thing you intend on being, so here is what you should have in your move notebook...
"I would like to bring my 10' x 5' dining room table to my new apartment home if it will fit."
I have heard this at least a few times since becoming a Senior Move Manager® early this year. Meet my husband and Business Operations Manager, Danny Ramer. In the picture above, you see him measuring 10 feet out from the dining room wall to show where the dining room table described above would be if it were flush with the wall. As you can see, it would come out to the middle of the hallway - not ideal in a smaller living space.
Imagine not having measured the new space, paying to have the table moved, only getting it there to find out it is not going to work out. Now what?!
Here are some other things to keep in mind when downsizing and planning your space:
Downsizing can be a daunting task. You've lived in your home for upwards of 20, 30, 40, or 50+ years. You've collected so much over the years. You know you are moving into a smaller space; one that doesn't have quite the upkeep or maintenance, but you are asking yourself how you can downsize your belongings and is it possible to just do it after you've moved it all and finally have the time.
Since becoming a Certified Senior Move Manager® and completing 56 senior move management projects since January 2016, I've experienced an array of different scenarios. Some of my clients have downsized and moved multiple times in their retirement; others have never downsized before and can't fathom the idea of going through each and every item, making decisions on what to keep and what to let go of. In either case, I recommend making those decisions before your move vs. after for the following reasons:
From start to finish, a move for a senior can be an overwhelming process... for the senior, and for the family. Oftentimes, the family is not capable of managing this process, as they live out of the area, or they have demanding careers. There are many emotional and physical aspects of relocation and/or "aging in place." Senior Move Managers® minimize the chaos and stress associated with moving by addressing these aspects, creating and executing a seamless action plan that is customized to the client's needs.
Specific services vary, but most Senior Move Managers® can help with some of the following:
After the first months of sleepless nights, and 4 years of taking care of this sweet (sometimes ;)) baby boy, I have put together this list of things to organize when you're expecting, so you can better prepare...
The first thing I knew I needed to do was to find the right kind of storage solution to fit my pantry and my need for use of vertical space. So what did I do? That's right... I went straight to Amazon!
*TIP: Measure your shelving and the distance between each shelf. If yours are like mine, the distance between each shelf may not be the same, so make sure you draw it out on paper with your measurements before shopping.
When you think of ADD, do you think of it as being a childhood disorder, or an adult disorder? If you are an adult and you have ADD or ADHD, have you had it all of your life? If you've suffered with the disorder since childhood, you have likely realized that it is a life-span disorder. Rather than growing out of it, it evolves.
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I am BIG fan of Professional Organizing expert Lisa Woodruff with Organize365. Get 10% off any of her ETSY products with the coupon code NICOLE. Here are a few of my favorite products of hers: