Aging and Downsizing

Downsizing Parents

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What is it? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, DOWNSIZE is a verb.

‘down-size’ | ‘daun-siz’
downsized; downsizing; downsizes

Definition of downsizing:

  1. To reduce in size
    especially: to design or produce in smaller size.
  2. To fire (employees) for the purpose of downsizing a business. –I’ll let someone else write a Blog about this definition. 😉

I recently read somewhere that a better term for ‘downsizing’ is lifestyle adjustment.

“Downsizing may be viewed as being forced to reduce. We hear this when companies are ‘Downsizing’ and forced to reduce their workforce or the need to ‘DownSize’ a parent because they’re heading to a Retirement Community. No one likes to be forced to do something. That’s why, if given the choice, a Life Style Adjustment allows us to look forward to the future in a positive and healthy manner.”

Well said! I love the positive spin on a stage in life that’s often associated with many negative feelings.


Is your home too big for you?
Do you have the time or energy for your home?
Can you still maintain your home (health or financial issues)?

Whatever your reason, we all need to go through this at some point. It can be a daunting, overwhelming and maybe stressful time for some. This decision alone is probably the most difficult step in the entire process. So, once you decide to move forward, give yourself a pat.

Now that you’ve made the decision to make a ‘Life Style Adjustment’, here are some tips to help you along the way:

Start early (no, I don’t mean before sunrise, but if that works for you…great!) Give yourself lots of time. I suggest planning a minimum of 3 months in advance. You don’t want to feel rushed by leaving it to the last minute; this could make you feel overwhelmed.

How to Plan for Downsizing

  • Where are you going? This will help you to know what you can and cannot take with you.
  • How are you going to do this? Schedule a time to start sorting through all your items. Start in one room and complete that room before moving on to the next.
  • PURGE, PURGE, PURGE! Keep the stuff that you will take with you. But ask yourself, “will I have room for it where I’m going?” “Do I need it?”
  • Sort things you cannot keep into SELL, DONATE, and GIVEAWAY piles. This can often be challenging as you’ll have a sentimental value associated with things you don’t need to keep. I’d suggest that you have the assistance of an unbiased, honest friend or family member who can provide a second opinion.
  • GARBAGE ….. self-explanatory
  • Ask for help! It’s okay to ask family, friends or fellow group members for assistance.  This is a stage in life that we’ll all go through, and most people understand the need for help.
  • Hire a professional company to help with purging and packing. This comes at a cost, but it’s often worth it.
  • LABEL BOXES/BINS –sort through items to take with you, and if you won’t be using them till you move, pack them in boxes or bins and label them. You’ll be a step ahead of your move!

Moving Bins or Boxes?

Get bins –you can often find them used or on sale. Bins stack & keep their shape better; you won’t have to worry about water or moisture.

Digitize it! -Memorabilia like photos, letters, and grandkids’ artwork take up lots of space. You don’t have to throw it all away. Take photos, or hire a company to digitize your favourite pictures and videos onto a small device you can plug in and look at any time.

The Downsizing Conclusion

Focus on what you’re gaining, not losing – Change can be difficult. Think about how your life will improve with these changes. Think of all the extra time you’ll have to enjoy your days with your family, friends or just doing something you love.

Inspired? Confused? Comment.

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