Have you made the decision to launch your new retirement adventure by moving into an independent living community? If you have, you’re no doubt looking forward to all the exciting activities and social events waiting ahead.
But if you’re a homeowner, there may be one task that needs to be accomplished to create just the right size and space when you move.
Downsizing for a move to an independent living community: where to start
This doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, many retirees happily discover that with a plan and a little preparation, it can be much easier to accomplish than they thought.
But imagine approaching the downsizing process through the viewpoint of an expert at eliminating extras. Not only will you arrive at your new home with everything you need, but with a feeling of joy and calm too.
Decluttering and downsizing the Marie Kondo way
A best-selling author, television host and tidying expert, Marie Kondo began her consulting business at the age of 19. Her gift is helping others not only declutter but to transform their homes into spaces of serenity.
Following the KonMari Method™
Although there are many books on downsizing, it can help to keep the inspiration for Kondo’s KonMari Method™ in mind when preparing for your move.
Deciding what furniture to take and eliminating duplicates are a big part of the retiree’s downsizing experience. But the objective of owning only what you cherish and living with intention and care parallels nicely with the goals of many to age and live well.
Considering the 6 basic rules of the KonMari Method™ can help guide you on your own downsizing journey.
- Make a commitment
Part of the appeal of moving into senior living is having the perfect size home and no longer tackling household chores or maintaining unused space. But you need to develop the right mindset to complete the downsizing process.
Only taking what you want and need will compliment your new lifestyle.
The KonMari Method™ Rule #1
Approaching the task with a clear vision will help you find the energy needed. When finished, you’ll be surrounded by the objects you love.
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle
Having the opportunity to free up your time and efforts with maintenance-free living, participating in all the activities and social events, and more importantly being able to meet and make new friends are all part of your new lifestyle.
Decluttering, deciding what to take and distributing possessions will help you create your new path.
The KonMari Method™ Rule #2
This method is about making a lifestyle choice that will spark long-lasting change. Envision what your best life looks like. Then take the steps to make it happen.
- Discard first
Many of our accumulating habits aren’t intentional. It’s often surprising to retirees how much they have and how little of it is still meaningful. Discard, distribute or donate but also consider reasons to keep an item and understand why.
The KonMari Method™ Rule #3
Items you discard can teach you what you no longer need. But also keep your focus on what you want to keep, cherishing the items that bring you joy and letting go of the rest with gratitude.
- Downsize by category, not by location
We often have the same types of items in more than one room so it’s easier to group belongings into categories. For example, it can help you decide what to do with all the bedding once you realize how many sets of linens you have in the house.
The KonMari Method™ Rule #4
When downsizing, you’ll need to decide what furniture to take but after that, the following categories are recommended: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous and then sentimental items.
- Start with the easiest items
There’s a reason most downsizing experts recommend starting with the easiest categories and then making your way toward the more difficult. It helps build your decision-making muscles and prevents early discouragement. It’s much easier to decide what to do with an extra set of holiday dishes than your children’s artwork from kindergarten.
The KonMari Method™ Rule #5
You’ll build confidence in learning how to choose what to keep as you work your way through easy categories (clothing) to the more challenging (sentimental items).
- Ask yourself if an item sparks joy
How much of what we hold onto actually makes us happy? Instead of relying on rules for what to discard, try instead asking yourself if an item brings you joy when considering whether to let something go.
The KonMari Method™ Rule #6
Pick up each object and ask yourself if it sparks joy. Pay attention to your body’s response. This also will help you identify what you really love and need.
Life at Tapestry Senior Living communities
Downsizing can be a wonderful experience as you prepare to launch your next life adventure. It can be freeing to let go of accumulations that no longer serve a useful purpose. If you’re planning to downsize, we hope the above tips were helpful and inspirational.
We invite you to visit one of our Tapestry Senior Living communities if you or a family member is considering retirement living. Where you live can make all the difference in your efforts to age well and live an enriched and full life.
Along with maintenance-free living, you’ll enjoy spending time on what brings you the most joy, such as:
- Remaining meaningfully engaged
- Making friends and sharing your life experiences
- Participating in educational, informative and fun activities
- Enjoying an active social life with others
- Belonging to a larger community
We understand that choosing the right community is an important decision and we are here to answer any questions that you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary guide, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a personal tour, please contact one of our advisors at a community near you.