Moving Forward: 5 Expert Tips to Rightsize and Declutter Your Home for Retirement

couple packing moving boxes

As older adults begin to consider the future, they often think about their home and what they need and what is weighing them down. When they prepare to move to a Lifecare community, they may have a few things at the forefront of their mind, such as how much stuff they have, what they don’t really want or need anymore and how they can simplify their lifestyles to make room for bigger and better things. This is often where rightsizing and decluttering comes in.

“It’s important to make your home fit your life,” says Monique Edwards of Kendal® on Hudson, the only true Lifecare community in Westchester County. “If older adults want to focus more on experiences and spending time doing things they enjoy, they may not need many of the items they once decided they had to have. If they lived in a smaller apartment in the city, they may finally have more room for the things they’ve always wanted, making it crucial to simplify and declutter to create additional space to house it.”

“Everyone’s desires for their new home are bound to be different, but one thing usually remains the same,” Monique says, “and that’s the need to declutter and rightsize the previous home to ensure a smoother move. Most often, older adults hire someone to assist, as it makes the transition not only easier, but allows you to spend more time preparing for your new lifestyle, however, some opt to do it themselves. There’s no right way to do it, it’s simply about what is easiest for both you and your family.

Five Expert Tips to Help You Rightsize and Declutter

When you decide you’re going to upgrade your home and lifestyle, it’s best to start rightsizing as soon as possible. Visit your new apartment home, consider what items will fit and make sense in your new location and take an inventory of what you’d like to purchase. This can help guide your decisions in what to keep, donate, pass down or toss. To make this process easier, the experts at Kendal on Hudson have compiled a few helpful tips.

  1. Make a plan. When rightsizing or decluttering, it always helps to have a plan in place. Make a list of which room you want to go through and when. Stick to the schedule and complete one room at a time. This not only helps to prevent additional messes, but it can also help you see the progress you’ve made.
  2. Go through each room thoroughly and stay organized. When going through each room, begin by throwing away any trash. This will clear space to go through the things that truly matter. Create a pile for items to take with you, items to keep and items to donate or pass down.
  3. Make it a family event. If possible, get your family in on the action. This can not only help to make the process quicker and less taxing, but it can also create an opportunity to have fun and reminisce. Play some music and dance with your grandchildren and go through your children’s old artwork and reminisce on the past. You may find that there are items you have that your children and grandchildren love. Pass them down to them if you don’t want to take them with you but be sure to share stories about the item. It could create lasting memories for years to come and an heirloom that continues to be passed down.
  4. Put items in storage that you’re unsure of. Just because you are rightsizing and decluttering doesn’t mean you have to give everything away or take it along. If there are some items you can’t seem to part with or question if you’ll need them in the future, put them in storage for a while. If you come to find you don’t need them, then get rid of them. If you do find that you need them, you’re in luck! Here’s some more tips for handling heirlooms and sentimental items.
  5. Pack smarter, not harder. When going through this process, it can help to label each box accordingly. For example, if there are items you’ll need for the bedroom, label it as such. This can help prevent confusion on moving day and even help you settle in and explore the community faster. After all, who wants to be weighed down by a large amount of items and a big to do list!

For more information about rightsizing or to learn more about what you may or may not need upon your move to Kendal® on Hudson, please contact us at 914-922-1000.

Together, Transforming the Experience of Aging®.

Founded on Quaker principles and guided by our values and practices, Kendal on Hudson provides a vibrant, active and social senior lifestyle on our 25-acre campus next to the historic Hudson River. As the only Lifecare community in Westchester County, we offer four levels of service for our residents: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Support and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Services.

Kendal on Hudson is a not for profit 501 (c) (3) organization led by a volunteer Board of Directors. Kendal on Hudson is an affiliate of The Kendal Corporation, a system of communities and services for older people based in Kennett Square, PA. We support diversity, inclusiveness, and independence and support the values and practices of Kendal by remaining focused on healthy aging. Located in Sleepy Hollow, New York, just 35 miles from New York City, we offer a vibrant lifestyle, cultural programs, continued learning and health care for life.

For more information, please call 914-922-1000.