Seasons Alberta Magazine

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DOWNSIZING TO Rightsizing

W hen considering a move to a retirement home, the thought of downsizing can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. We sat down with Kathy and Margaret from the Ladies of Royal LePage, and they shared with us their best tips and tricks to help make it a positive experience: 1. Create a Game Plan. The first recommended step is to gather information, including the size of your new suite with measurements, a potential move-in date, and a realistic timeline. You may also want to have a realtor determine the value of your home based on location, condition, age, features, and other factors. You will need to consider what support system you have in place, especially if health or mobility issues are a concern, whether friends and family or a professional service provider. 2. Start Small. Deciding what to keep, sell, donate, give away or toss after many years of living in the same space can feel challenging. Kathy and Margaret suggest using four boxes in each room, one for donations, trash, recyclables, and to sell. They recommend only handling the item going into the box once and taking them out immediately to avoid questioning your decisions. An excellent place to start is the bathroom, kitchen or office that can accumulate unnecessary or duplicate items, most of which can be donated. 3. Start Early. Whether you start days, months or even years before a move, the less clutter, the better. You could start with the garage, utility rooms, spare bedrooms or other spaces used less frequently. During this stage, you might be thinking about renovating your home to add value. While each situation is unique, Kathy and Margaret say that you don’t need to make it perfect. However, you should maintain the property, including repairs and landscaping, reduce the number of items in the home, consider a fresh coat of neutral coloured paint.

4. Legacy Gift Early. Rather than saving items for the future, you might consider passing on favourite or valuable items now, so you can take pleasure in them being enjoyed by people you care about most. Another benefit of early legacy gifting is that you can share memories and stories along with the items. If you have duplicates or want to reduce a collection, consider donating or selling items to someone who would appreciate it as much as, if not more, than its original owner. 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 furniture and home decor because familiar items will help make your new space feel like home and spending time in an area 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 specializing in assisting senior clients, including the Ladies of Royal LePage. For more information, please speak with the Seasons Leasing Manager.

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