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Decluttering and Downsizing for Seniors

Decluttering and Downsizing for Seniors

Decluttering and Downsizing for Seniors

Decluttering and Downsizing: A Guide for Seniors and Their Loved Ones

Throughout our lifetime, it’s easy to accumulate belongings that we may no longer use. Whether it’s a gift you didn’t want in the first place, an expensive kitchen appliance you haven’t used in years, or a wardrobe that no longer suits you, it can be hard to part ways without feeling guilty. But let’s face it, clutter has the ability to multiply as soon as you take your eyes off it.

For your loved one, adjusting to life in a new home can be challenging. It involves significant changes, like leaving behind a home where happy memories were made and finding new homes for some of their belongings. Helping your aging parents declutter is a big effort but a necessary one.

Decluttering is a wonderful way to reflect on memories your loved one holds dear and open the door to the next stage of life. This guide is designed to make the decluttering and downsizing process as simple as possible for aging adults and their loved ones. It will help you prepare for the transition and offer advice to loved ones on what they can do to help. Keep the lines of communication open, take it one step at a time, and don’t rush into anything before you’re ready.

Step 1: Discuss the move with your loved one

The sooner you discuss the decluttering and downsizing process, the more time everyone will have to evaluate all options. Unless your aging parent or family member has experienced a recent medical issue that can hinder their quality of life, don’t force the conversation if your loved one seems resistant to the idea. 

Find a time, space, and place to spark the conversation where your loved one will feel comfortable and supported. Plan for interruptions and conversational derailments. You can even practice beforehand, make notes, and rehearse the conversation with a friend so you can feel confident that you’re communicating in a positive way. Remember that difficult questions and conversations take time, patience, and perseverance to sort through.

If you did face hesitancy from your aging adult, bring the topic of decluttering and downsizing up again at a later date. It’s important to be patient with your loved one and recognize they may be feeling frustration, fear, and anxiety.

Step 2: Set a tentative date

Create a calendar to share with your loved one and others involved in the move to take some of the uncertainty away. Choose tentative dates for:

  •   Downsizing and packing
  •   Charity pick-ups, a garage or estate sale, or trash pick-ups
  •   Booking a moving truck or asking friends and family to come and help
  •   Moving day
  •   Unpacking boxes and setting up the new place

Step 3: Determine the area and size of the new home

Mobility and ability restrictions, caregiving needs, proximity to family, and budget all play a role in where your loved one can live. Their preferences are crucial to the equation and should be considered at each step. There will likely be compromises, especially if budget concerns are an issue, so be prepared to have multiple conversations to work out the details.

Remember that the arrangements can look just about any way you want them to. Many retirement communities and assisted living facilities offer personalized options to meet any need or comfort — so it’s essential to ensure everyone feels satisfied with them. There are five main options for seniors looking to downsize:

  • Buying a smaller house or condo with home modifications applied as necessary
  • Renting a smaller home
  • Moving in with a loved one (adult child, sibling, etc.)
  • Moving into a retirement community
  • Finding in-home care services
  • Entering assisted living

Step 4: Declutter and downsize your loved one’s belongings

It’s amazing the number of things we can acquire throughout a lifetime. From an endless array of dishes and closets full of linens to the many souvenirs and knickknacks of a life well-lived, addressing where all these items will go can be an emotional and overwhelming process. These aren’t just objects; they’re memories, and they’re what made your loved one’s house a home for all these years. It’s important to acknowledge and respect this loss. Be sure your loved one goes into the process prepared to part with plenty, and try your hardest to make room for the items that mean the most.

The most straightforward way to sort through items and purge the house of clutter is to ask your loved one four questions about the item:

  • “Do you need it or want it?”
  • “Does it have sentimental value?”
  • “Do you use it often?”
  • “Do you have another item that performs the same function?”

“Setting goals early is an excellent start to your journey of downsizing unwanted clutter in your home,” says James Lane. “Visualize what each room should look like, decide what needs to go to make that a reality, and sell or donate the items. Focus on the joy the item will bring to others.”

You can categorize each item and decide what your family member, parent, or friend will take, store, donate, or sell. You can usually recycle old bills and paperwork that’s no longer necessary. Be sure to look for important documents that you or your loved one must keep, such as birth certificates, deeds, financial documents, medical records, passports, powers of attorney, and wills.

What if your loved one refuses to part with these items? 

Many people don’t want to let go of things they feel are important. If it’s necessary to find a new home for an item, you can try the following:

  • Talking to an antique dealer to find out how much items are worth. Sometimes a dollar figure can make a big difference in a person’s decision-making process.
  • Hiring a professional organizer. If you’re too close to the situation and your help becomes frustrating for your loved one, it might be best to bring in an impartial third party who’s used to helping people let go.
  • Explaining to your loved one where the items will go and that they will be treasured. This is especially important with things tied to the family legacy, like old documents and photos.

Step 5: Find new homes for the items your loved one isn’t keeping

If your loved one has a lot of belongings that can’t move with them, such as furniture and keepsakes, there’s a big decision on the horizon. They must decide whether to put everything in storage, hold a yard sale, or divide items between family members.

Moving expenses can quickly add up. Yard sales are a great way to make extra money to help fund the move and find new homes for your loved one’s belongings. Donate any remaining items to local charities and organizations to ensure someone in need will benefit from the donation. Another option is to work with a local expert who will help by setting up an online auction or assist in managing your local estate sale.

Step 6: Handle the paperwork

You may need to change your loved one’s address, transfer utilities to someone else’s name, or finalize registration at your friend or family member’s retirement home or assisted living facility. Make sure you tackle these tasks early so you’re not scrambling later. Don’t forget to update the address for your loved one’s bank and credit card accounts, driver’s license and vehicle registration, insurance policies, investment and retirement accounts, Medicare and Social Security, and voter registration.

Step 7: Begin packing and prepare for the move

Packing is stressful, no matter how you look at it. To make things easier on your parent, friend, or family member, take it slowly and start early. Remember that your loved one’s participation can help them feel in control, minimizing anxiety and quelling nervousness about the big move. It’s also important to remember that this is a big job, and too much at once can be overwhelming. Try to keep packing, sorting, and organizing confined to less than a couple of hours per day. And, if your loved one wants to stop and reminisce, join in.

It’s helpful to work with a relocation expert. They can help devise a plan to pack and declutter, move things to storage, take items to a charity location, move your loved one into their new home and help unpack.

“Planning ahead is key to preparation upon moving,” shares Lane from Caring Transitions. “Being proactive by curating a to-do list is a great way to resolve challenges ahead of time and to be as efficient as possible. Contact the person who manages the moving team to let them know the number of items, distance, and any other information you feel is necessary.” 

Step 8: Say goodbye to the house

The truth is, there’s no right or wrong way to say goodbye to a beloved home. Discuss what will work best for your family in an open and honest setting. However the goodbyes are said, make it a point to bid farewell. Let them know it’s okay to feel sad but to not lose sight of the exciting next step.

“When it’s time to downsize, remind your loved one of the benefits of this new chapter in their life,” suggests Lane. “Reach out to local recreation centers to learn about activities within your family or friend’s new neighborhood. Research restaurants and cafes to find out their daily specials and weekly events.”

Step 9: Make the transition

“Begin a smooth transition by planning where to place furniture and other items in the home,” says Lane. “Measuring each room to make sure the furniture fits will save your loved one from certain challenges ahead of time, such as a sofa that won’t fit through a doorway. Before moving anything in, take plenty of photos and videos –this is a fantastic way to note any issues that may need fixing, such as a drippy faucet or a broken washing machine.”

Do what you can to bring in your loved one’s most treasured items first, those that will make them feel especially comforted. Move-in day should be a family affair, even if you already have help from a relocation expert. Keep the mood as light and exciting as possible, and focus on the fact that it’s a new beginning rather than an end.

Step 10: Be supportive after the move

Adjusting to a new environment, particularly if it’s a lot different than the old one, can take weeks or months. Your loved one needs plenty of time to settle in, get to know people (including caregivers), and start feeling at home, so don’t rush the process. 

Familiar faces can help make adjusting to a new place easier. Try to visit as often as you can (or as often as your loved one wants you to). If you can’t visit, see if someone can help your loved one Skype or FaceTime, or make regular phone calls to check up on them.

Final thoughts

Decluttering and downsizing is often one of the best choices an aging parent can make, but it’s their decision when and if they want to. Ease into the idea and keep the conversation ongoing. It may be painful, but the inevitable sting of leaving the family home should never stop anyone from simplified and happier living.

Why people choose 55 plus communities in Orlando

When searching for the perfect 55 plus community Florida’s climate and pace of life provides an irresistible combination. More and people are choosing retirement to the sunshine state but Florida is also top of the list when it comes to financing. We have no state income tax! Affordable housing in active 55 plus Communities is constantly in demand. We have been helping people buying and selling property in these deed restricted communities for over 30 years. If you are seriously considering retiring to Florida our experienced Realtors can help you find an affordable property. Looking for Golf communities, waterfront properties, manufactured homes, villas, RV Homes and all with superb community facilities at a price to suit your budget. We work with all the new home developers and other local brokerages to find the perfect match and realize your Florida retirement dream

Click Here to learn more or call us today at (863) 424-2309

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.

 

Recently listed in the Polo Park Community

Recently listed in the Polo Park Community

Recently listed in the Polo Park Community

413 NESBITT PARK AVENUE, DAVENPORT, FL

Just Listed

$ Click for current price
2 BEDROOMS | 2 full baths BATHROOMS | 1026 SqFt

Looking for a well maintained home with lots of community amenities and activities? Then read on…..This wellmaintained 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom property is tastefully furnished and has been lovingly maintained by the owners.This open plan property has been designed for maximum efficiency and feels bigger than it is. Some of the recentupdates include newer roof, AC, new carpets, water softener, etc. This home benefits from solar panels which have been paid off by theseller! The current owners pay approx $50 per month for electricity! Overlooking the front is the Florida room withsliding windows enabling you to expand your living space or simply enjoy the benefits of a beautiful Florida Room. Thelarge carport and long driveway offer ample parking for you and any guests. Sitting on a good sized lot, this home offerslots of potential for a gardening enthusiast looking for a good sized yard. The property also benefits from a spaciousshed which also houses the washer and dryer with plenty of room to store your golf cart, bicycles and more. Ideallysituated within the community between both the clubhouses and amenities which include community pool, horseshoe,tennis courts, golf course (not included in monthly fees), fitness center, etc. Located off highway 27, the locationprovides easy access to grocery stores, restaurants, medical facilities as well as being minutes away from highway 192,I4, and the theme parks. Time to enjoy the Florida Lifestyle. Call today, you won’t be disappointed.

The Lakes At Harmony- A Fast Selling 55+ Community

The Lakes At Harmony- A Fast Selling 55+ Community

The Lakes At Harmony- A Fast Selling 55+ Community

The Lakes at Harmony is an amenities-rich community providing a paradise designed exclusively for active adults (55+).  

Harmony encompasses 11,000 acres of which 70% will remain lakes, conservation areas and green space.  The community was carefully planned so residents can walk, jog or ride a bicycle to the beautiful lakes, play golf at the Harmony Golf Preserve and much more. 

The Lakes at Harmony is the newest and highly sought-after addition to Harmony.   

The Recreation Center is a brand-new exclusive amenity that includes a resort style zero-entry pool, community and craft rooms, fitness center and a “sunset gazebo” overlooking the 14th green of the Harmony Golf Course.  

 

Popular activities such as: tennis, pickle ball, mahjong, canasta, zumba, tai chi, yoga/piyo, bocce, book club, game night, BBQ and special seasonal events are also hosted at the Recreation Center throughout the year. 

  

And when you want to get out and enjoy the many attractions of Central Florida, everything is nearby:  for example, Orlando International Airport: 25 minutes; Disney World Resort: 30 minutes; Atlantic Beaches: 40 minutes; Sea World and Universal Studios: 45 minutes. 

  

Lakes at Harmony is a special place where you can meet new friends and enjoy the good life.  

 

Make time and visit this community. With only a dozen lots remaining, the chances of securing a home-site along the fairway of the Johnny Miller course or backing up to conservation land or overlooking a nature filled lake are dwindling.  

 

The Lakes at Harmony was recently showcased as one of the 50 best master-planned communities in the US for retirees, so don’t delay, call us today to schedule your private tour. 

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.

 

Mount Dora- The Popular Choice With US Retirees

Mount Dora- The Popular Choice With US Retirees

Mount Dora- The Popular Choice With US Retirees

It is no secret that Florida’s year-round sunshine makes for an ideal retirement destination.  

The state tax laws make it affordable, too, including no state tax. And every corner of the state offers a variety of things to do. Historical sites, hiking, boating, sports, and festivals will keep you busy during retirement.  

 Ranked as Florida’s #1 small town to retire to by USA Today, Mount Dora is known for its charming water ambiance, gracious lifestyle and friendly community. Due to its central location, retirees from Jacksonville, Tampa and other areas throughout Florida and the U.S. come to Mount Dora for its great attractions and relaxed atmosphere.  

 Located on the shores of Lake Dora and only an hour away from Orlando, this picturesque town was founded in 1880 and still maintains an old-world charm. Many refer to Mount Dora as the “Festival City”, because of the numerous festivals and fairs held throughout the year. If you enjoy participating in events, shopping for antiques in a charming downtown area, dining on a balcony overlooking Main Street, you will love Mount Dora. Theater comes to life in two theaters, alongside the numerous art galleries. Mount Dora is also known as the Bass Capital of the World and is an excellent small town to bring your fishing pole. You can walk along the lake, take up birding, biking, hiking, boating, and any other outdoor adventure your heart desires. 

 One of the best parts of retiring in Mount Dora is having extra spending power, as housing is still affordable. 

Mount Dora will win you over in a heartbeat and we, at RE/MAX Heritage, can certainly help with information on existing and upcoming retirement communities, so you can find your ideal retirement home!   

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.

 

Coming soon- New Retirement Community to Central Florida

Coming soon- New Retirement Community to Central Florida

Coming soon- New Retirement Community to Central Florida

On January 5, 2022 the Polk County Planning Commission unanimously approved a binding site plan for 232 apartment units on 11.6 acres off Lake Hatchineha Road. 

 The project is located “on the north side of Bayberry Street, west of Marigold Avenue, east of Allegheny Road, north of Hatchineha Road, east of the city of Dundee.” The land is owned by Gordon Land LLC. 

 This proposal is part of the larger Poinciana Planned Unit Development — addressing the remaining portion of Neighborhood 3 within Village 7. The area was rezoned to multifamily in 2005 but was in need of a binding site plan. As a result, commissioners were evaluating the design of the proposed project, rather than the compatibility of the proposal’s high density. 

 The project is proposed as a 55+, retirement community, but Florida law prevents the county from enforcing age restrictions on development requests, according to county documents. 

The planned buildings will be four stories and courtyard style. Access to the development will be via an extension of Allegheny Road. 

The RE/MAX Heritage team is trying to obtain all details and we’ll be sharing shortly.

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.

 

Avoid the Chills and Move to Florida

Avoid the Chills and Move to Florida

Avoid the Chills and Move to Florida

Warm, sunshine-filled areas offer abundant opportunities for happiness, health, wellness, and relaxation. They can enjoy favorable weather throughout the year that allows them to enjoy fun outdoor activities and a mild, relaxing environment.

Residents who live in sunnier climates enjoy several advantages compared to those who live in cooler, snowier ones. Here are three benefits:

  • You’ll spend less money protecting yourself from freezing winter weather – You won’t have to spend as much money protecting yourself from the cold. For instance, you’ll need less seasonal clothing and won’t need to invest in expensive snow tires.
  • Warmer climates may improve your vitamin D levels – A national study estimates that 40 percent of Americans have a vitamin D deficiency. Natural sunshine is a great source of this nutrient. Human beings produce this essential vitamin when sunlight contacts the cholesterol inside their skin.  It helps build bones, strengthens the immune response, and lowers blood pressure. Other evidence shows this vitamin can prevent other chronic health issues.
  • They offer more opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities – You can enjoy outdoor exercise throughout the year in warm climates, unlike colder ones. In mild areas, temperatures can dip on chilly mornings and raise during the afternoon. Snow is still a rarity. You can enjoy morning walks, or spend the day sailing, fishing, or camping. There are also great opportunities for sunbathing.
  • Warmer climates help boost the moods – Increase outdoor activities can make you feel better and alleviate depression.

 

Central Florida is best known as a tourist destination because most of the theme parks in the state are located here, but there is so much more to explore off the beaten path.

Plus, there are a lot of retirement communities to choose from.

Some prominent central Florida cities include Orlando, The Villages, St. Cloud, Clermont, Kissimmee, Leesburg, Ocala, Gainesville, and Lakeland.

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.