Seasons Alberta Magazine

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I t can be difficult to downsize or likewise help an aging parent with the task. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to decide what to keep, donate, sell or throw out after many years of living in the same house. Still, downsizing is necessary when seriously considering a move into a retirement community. What fits inside a three-bedroom house, simply cannot fit into a one or two-bedroom suite. Here are some strategies to help make downsizing a more positive process: > Build a support system. Whether you choose to get involved, ask your family members and friends for help, or hire a professional, downsizing can be an extremely challenging task to manage on your own. We suggest building a support system to assist you as it can also be emotional and labour intensive. > Take photos before you begin. Start by taking photos of each room in the house from different angles. When finished, sit down and look at them closely to decide which items draw your eye, those will be the first things you decide to keep. > Plan your next steps. It could be helpful to get a floorplan of the new space you or a loved one will be moving into, along with accurate measurements of the available space to help you decide how much room you have for larger “must- have” furniture items. > Get rid of the excess. Purging all the garbage and least used items will be a simple place to begin. This means tossing out all the “junk” that you’re easily willing to part with, donating unworn clothes, or tossing things you no longer need or use. > Hold onto favourite items. For the items you love, label and organize them in a dedicated place. It’s important to remember that everything you keep must have a place of its own in your new home. Don’t hold onto things because you think you have to, only those that evoke an emotional response. DOWNSIZING TIPS

> Don’t over save for others. It can be tempting to hold onto items for the sake of other people. Rather than assuming you have the same tastes, it might be better to have a private conversation with them about their preferences. You could consider selling unwanted items and save earnings for future generations. > Get excited about the new space. As you progress through the process, allowing yourself to get excited about the opportunity to make a new space your own can provide great motivation to finish the task. Buy a few new things you love to make the move fun. Starting a new chapter in your life can be a great inspiration! At Seasons, residents bring their own furniture and home decor because familiar items will help make your new space feel like home and spending time in a space that makes you feel happy can have a profound effect on how you feel. We also have several connections within local communities to help you or your loved one transition to retirement living including moving services, downsizing and organization professionals, and even real estate agents that specialize in helping senior clients. For more information, please speak with the Seasons Leasing Manager.

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