The Upside of Downsizing Your Home for Retirement

moving boxes on a table

Many older adults look at downsizing as if it’s a negative event. They believe it means getting rid of beloved and treasured items because they have too much stuff or they are making a move to a senior living community like Kendal® on Hudson. For many people, this perspective couldn’t be further from the truth. Downsizing can actually be a very positive and freeing event, allowing older adults to keep the items they treasure and love, free themselves of what they don’t, and give them the space to pursue passions, new or old hobbies and enjoy more experiences as opposed to possessions. At Kendal on Hudson, we believe that downsizing makes room for an engaging, happy and exciting lifestyle.

“While downsizing can tend to take a lot of thought, planning and work, many older adults find it’s worth it,” says Ellen Oddstadt, Director of Resident Services at Kendal on Hudson, the only true Lifecare community in Westchester County. “Not only is there less clutter – leaving less stress, fewer things to clean and less distraction, but it allows for more of what truly matters. Less time cleaning means more time spent with friends, accumulating fewer items means spending more on experiences and fun outings. It’s easier to be happy and free when there’s less weighing you down – not to mention the excitement of a move to a senior living community such as Kendal on Hudson, where there’s so much to do that you aren’t likely to miss menial possessions anyway.”

What Is the Upside to Downsizing? Kendal Residents Weigh In!

Although downsizing often gets met with negative reactions, it can actually have an array of upsides. At Kendal on Hudson, our residents believe that some of the upsides include these and more:

  1. Ability to get the family together for a common goal. Has it been a long time since your family has gotten together? Ask everyone to come and help. It’s a great opportunity to laugh together, enjoy each other’s company and get more done in a smaller amount of time! After you’re done, celebrate, reminisce and simply enjoy the beginning of your new adventure!
  2. Fewer possessions to store or find room for. If you have ever had pots and pans falling out of the cupboard, clothes overflowing your drawers or figurines littering your shelves that fall over constantly, you know how annoying it can be to have too much stuff. Storing these items can be even worse because it’s impossible to find exactly what you’re looking for. Having fewer possessions can give you not only more space to store what you truly use and love, but it can also give you more space to breathe thanks to less overwhelm and agitation.
  3. Ability to leave behind what doesn’t make you happy. Taking the time to evaluate the items in your home and considering their significance can be therapeutic. Do you have things in your home that make you sad or upset whenever you see it? Say goodbye! Get rid of anything that has a negative memory attached to it and instead, look to the future with joy and excitement.
  4. Opportunities to pass down heirlooms and bond. Do you no longer wear the necklace your mother passed down to you? Do you have a collectible item that will simply serve no purpose in your new space? Does your photo album bring your granddaughter immense joy each time she comes over? Many times, these items can be passed down from generation to generation, enjoyed by someone else or added to. If you have items that are collecting dust, take some time to bond with your loved ones and talk about each item, create a new memory and enjoy connecting with your family.
  5. More time enjoying what you have. When we have a lot of possessions, we are likely to take some of them for granted or begin to accumulate for the sake of having something. When downsizing, many older adults find that getting rid of items they don’t love allows them to enjoy the items they do have more. For example, you may not have a large collection of books and movies, but simply your favorite few that you re-read and re-watch time and time again. Instead of dealing with all that clutter, stick to your basics and pass down, sell or donate the rest.

Even better, downsizing can make for an upsized lifestyle that older adults can truly enjoy. Kendal on Hudson residents spend more time enjoying everything our community has to offer – including programming, outings and the company of good friends – instead of worrying about clutter, cleaning and the overwhelm of having too much stuff. Come talk to our residents and team about how downsizing created the opportunity to enjoy an upsized lifestyle. Contact us today to talk to a member of our team or schedule a tour by calling 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.