It doesn't necessarily occur as a blinding flash of insight. It may be more like a gradual realization over a period of time. But there are some clear signs that the time may have come to make a change in your living situation.
Signs You Have Too Much House
Everybody has a favorite room. But if you find that there are rooms in your home, or perhaps an entire floor, that you don't visit for days on end, you could possibly have "too much house."
If your garden is neglected, and you just don't have the energy or the inclination to plant new flowers each season, you may be ready to forego the maintenance duties.
If your "stuff" threatens to encroach on your space and your style, you may have collected too many things. And if there are numerous minor repairs that you just never seem to get around to addressing, you may have too much house.
If that sounds like a comedy routine, it might be laughable, but the truth is that for many older adults, it constitutes reality. The dawning can come as a shock as you look around and wonder how it's possible.
The question is: What do I do about it?
Paring Down Is Freeing
Lifestyle needs change. If you feel that you are tied to a property that no longer meets your needs, either because you feel lost in the space or because the routine maintenance and upkeep have become too much of a job, then it's a sign that you need to make a change. Luckily, there are numerous options for older adults who wish to remain active, independent and socially involved.
The first step is to make some sense of your possessions. As difficult as it might be to make a clean break when everything has a memory attached, it is also empowering to think of living a freer, less encumbered life. Know that the memories will remain. It can also be heartwarming to know that what you no longer need will be put to good use by someone else.
Pass your treasured possessions on to children or grandchildren, hold an estate sale or donate some items to non-profit agencies and causes you support. Those moves will bring joy to you and to others.
Moving – and Moving On
Planning ahead to downsize or move to a senior living community doesn't always mean that it's easy to do. But maintaining a positive attitude about it all goes a long way toward making the physical move easier. Consult with professionals, call upon your friends and neighbors, and know that there are caring communities to help you.
The decision to move is an important one, to be sure. Living with purpose, in a place that is comfortable, and comforting, is always the right choice.
Look ahead to the kinds of activities you enjoy, the new friendships and interests you will develop, and the "rightness" of having spaces that really meet your needs. You'll find yourself laughing as you share stories about the rooms you never visited!