New Year, New Focus: Develop a Mindset for Moving in 2019
The year is wrapping up, which means celebrating the old and getting ready to welcome the new. As you’re preparing to ring in 2019, your thoughts may be turning to New Year’s Resolutions. Alongside the old chestnuts of eating better, getting more exercise and all the rest, we’d like to propose a new one for you: getting your head (and your home) ready for a big move in 2019.
Whether you’re an independent senior who’s just starting to think about independent living communities, if you’ve already made the decision to make a move or if you’re simply wanting to downsize and get rid of some of your stuff, here are some tips to help get your home and your life resolution ready.
Take your time. The best part of starting the downsizing process early is that you can break down what seems like a monumental task into bite-sized chunks. Spend 20 minutes a day going through things, or do one drawer at a time – then move on to something else. This allows you to give everything you own your complete attention for at least a moment, which will help you choose what to keep and what to get rid of without feeling rushed.
Start with little spaces. Tackling the kitchen, garage or basement can quickly become overwhelming. Instead, start small, like with a linen closet or laundry room. Once you’ve had some quick successes, you’ll be more ready (and have a system in place) to tackle the big rooms.
Get rid of multiples. You probably don’t really need 10 sets of bedsheets – two or three is fine, depending on how many bedrooms you have. And you could probably get rid of some of your oh-so-many cookie sheets and wooden spoons. By reducing the number of similar items, you’ll cut down on clutter in a big way.
Avoid “maybe” piles. As you’re going through your possessions, it’s tempting to add a “maybe” pile alongside the keep/give away/toss piles. Harden your heart and make bold decisions. By holding on to the “maybe” items, you’re creating that much more work for your future self. If it’s something you use all the time, hold on to it. If it’s an item that has been in the closet for a year or more, it’s time to say goodbye.
Consider your collections. It may be difficult to get rid of your library full of books or the collection of thimbles you’ve purchased from wherever you’ve traveled. However, how often do you really look at or use these items? Choose some of your very favorite items and photograph the rest. The “best ofs” can have a special place in your new space, and the photos can be turned into a scrapbook you can transport much more easily.
Pass on heirlooms early. We often think of leaving special items or pieces to family members after we’ve passed on. Instead of waiting until your will is read, consider giving gifts to your loved ones now. Not only will you be able to get those items out of your house, but you’ll also be able to see your loved ones enjoy the items here and now.
Take time to remember. It’s completely okay to take some time and reminisce over your kids’ preschool drawings, stuffed animals and other memorabilia. Allow yourself to enjoy the nostalgia (it’s even okay to cry if you need to), or simply take a break and move to a different room if you’re not ready to tackle that particular space. That’s why you’re starting the process early – to give you time to feel, remember and eventually move on.
While the idea of downsizing may instinctively give us pause, think about it this way: it’s your opportunity to get rid of any items you don’t want or love and only surround yourself with the things that bring you joy. It’s a great way to start off the new year, and will get you off on the right foot to start moving forward…and moving towards your new future.