If you’re moving into a senior living community, you’re likely looking forward to the exciting and fulfilling lifestyle that is waiting for you. At the same time, you’re probably wondering what to bring to your new home, especially if you’re moving from a much larger space.
The good news is that “downsizing” can relieve you from the stress of upkeeping more space than you need. After some decluttering and organizing, it will be much easier to decide what you actually want and will use in your new home.
Advantages of Downsizing
For many older adults, the key to a successful transition is understanding they’re downsizing their possessions, not their lives. In fact, those who have been through this process say they had reached a point in life when they knew they wanted more adventures, not more belongings. They were looking to simplify, not complicate.
If you are also considering downsizing before your move, here are a few of the benefits you’ll discover:
- Fewer possessions can create a simpler and more streamlined life
- It’s easier to keep your home organized when everything has a place
- Eliminating furniture and extra objects can make your home safer to navigate
- Fewer objects and furniture pieces can make your new home appear and feel larger
- Living without clutter may relieve stress
- A sense of freedom and the feeling of a fresh start is often a result
It’s called “downsizing” because most people are moving into a home smaller in size than the one they’re leaving. One decorating tip you may find helpful is how to make your new space appear larger. Try these downsizing tips to do just that:
- Understand the space you have
Declutter your old home and bring only what you truly need. Be careful not to move anything that you won’t have room for. There are many benefits when you’re no longer maintaining space you don’t use, and being intentional with your plans for your new home is a great place to start.
- Maximize the space you have
A great downsizing tip is to imagine your new space and how it can most efficiently be used. Draw a rough sketch of where your furniture could go, and take a minimalist approach. Think “Less is more.” A smaller space automatically looks larger when it’s not crowded.
- Rethink your furniture style
If your furniture is large in size and style, think about going smaller, if possible. Consider slimmer, less bulky pieces, such as chairs or sofas with slender legs and without armrests. If your style is traditionally overstuffed, consider the trade-off, as furniture may instantly overfill a room.
- Prioritize multipurpose functions
A great space-saver (and way to make a room appear larger) is to have furniture that pulls double-duty. Instead of having a coffee table and a desk taking up precious square footage, consider purchasing a coffee table that can also serve as a desk or storage space.
- Think vertical
We tend to decorate around our floor space, but empty walls are available and waiting to contribute. Check with your community first, but consider adding wall mounted shelves for books, photographs or sentimental objects. You may want to try hooks to hang items from.
- The old mirror trick
Adding mirrors to your home can create the illusion of a much-larger space. This also goes for anything glass, such as a clear-covered tabletop. Being able to see the floor creates an airy feeling and gives the impression of more space, and materials that allow natural light to bounce across the room make the space appear brighter.
- Use sheer window coverings, or none at all
Try getting rid of window coverings or using very thin fabrics to make the room feel more open and brighter. Heavy drapery can make a room feel “closed-in” and cluttered. Another trick is to hang your curtains higher than the window frame to create the appearance of more height and additional room.
- Use light colors
If you want your rooms to look larger, the use of lighter colors is a great decorating tip. Bright or bold colors, as well as patterns, tend to close up a room, but pastels and lighter shades tend to create the opposite effect. Check if your community will allow the walls to be painted and see what difference this could make.
- Less is better
In a smaller space, the less you have, the better. This is true for furniture, wall hangings, knickknacks and kitchen counter appliances. The appearance of open space makes the room look larger, less cluttered and more organized. Too many objects can make it appear chaotic and small.
- A place for everything
Once you have perfected your new downsized look, keep it that way. Guard against accumulating more possessions as time goes on. Everything in your home will need to have a place. Avoid starting any piles or stacks. If there isn’t a designated spot, it’s best not to bring it into your house.
Life at Eskaton Communities
The word Eskaton means “dawn of a new day.” In our communities, we see each day as an opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents. We’ve been serving the Sacramento region and Northern California for over 50 years.
The Eskaton Difference starts with our life-enriching programs and collaborative partnerships. With a national reputation for innovation, we focus on creating communities that provide our residents everything they need for purposeful living. We invite you to visit one of our award-winning communities to discover some of the benefits we offer, such as:
- Private residences
- Delicious and nutritious meals
- Social opportunities to meet and make new friends
- Creative activities and therapies
- Fitness centers and exercise classes
- Housekeeping services
- Transportation services
- 24-hour staffing
- Free Wi-Fi
- And much, much more!
If you’re considering whether community living could be the right choice for you, we’re here to answer any questions you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary information, A Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing.
To schedule a personalized tour, call us at 1-866-ESKATON or (1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.