Thinking of Downsizing? Start with Spring Cleaning!
It’s that time of year again – Spring cleaning season! It’s a time of year we’re all familiar with but few look forward to. For older adults, it’s looked forward less and dreaded more with each passing year. Especially if they have been in their home for decades. The home is older, appliances are older, and upkeep is more difficult. Couple this with thoughts of downsizing and the idea of spring cleaning is downright overwhelming!
And while 95% of the population likely doesn’t categorize spring cleaning as “fun,” it doesn’t have to be a “pain in the (insert noun here).” You can also fill two needs with one deed by doing a little downsizing in the process. We’ve compiled a few super easy tips that will help make spring cleaning easier and provide some downsizing bonus points:
1. Get by with a little help from your friends – Bringing on extra help is a great way to help the process move quickly and safely. It is a given that extra hands will help you get the job done faster, but help from your kids and grandkids will reduce the risk of injury. Allow the younger people in your life to move furniture, climb ladders, and do other, more generally physical tasks for you.
Downsizing Bonus: Having those you love present during this time will also help open a dialogue about pieces of furniture and belongings you’ve considering handing down – so you know what can be gifted and what will need to be sold or donated when the time comes to make a move.
2. Have fun and “Play that funky music” – Listening to music stimulates the production of our bodies’ “feel good hormones,” reduces stress, and helps blood pressure. It also helps with productivity and may help time move a little faster, especially when completing repetitive tasks like sorting and folding.
Downsizing Bonus – Playing old vinyl records, CD’s, etc. will double as an exercise to help you purge the vast music collection that’s been collecting dust in your basement.
3. Don’t forget to “Take it easy” – It’s important to listen to your body’s signals and know when it’s time to take a break. Overexertion leads to millions of emergency room visits every year, with most of them being preventable. Healthline explains that overexertion comes in different forms: physical overexertion, fatigue, low blood sugar, and dehydration.
Downsizing Bonus – While not necessarily a welcome bonus, by taking it easy and listening to your body you’ll be able to identify the tasks that are no longer safe to be doing in your home. They provide examples of duties you’ll want to look for that will be taken off your plate in your next home. Examples: no more stairs, housekeeping included, maintenance available.
4. Remember the “Glory Days” – Your home is your haven and place where memories are stored in every corner… especially for older adults who still live in the same home where they’ve raised their family. Don’t rush through the spring cleaning process! When you’re cleaning your oven, take time to remember that Thanksgiving when you burned the turkey to a crisp. As you clean the windows, remember the time your son kicked a soccer ball through the living room window. According to Medical Daily, nostalgia has “psychological and physiological benefits, including boosting mood, making us more hopeful, and even making us feel warmer.
Downsizing Bonus – One of the toughest parts of downsizing is parting with physical belongings that have emotional significance. Taking the time to honor your past now will help make it easier to let go of treasured items in the future. It can also help you identify the belongings that are “must haves” for your next move and what you can part with when the time comes.
So while spring cleaning isn’t very enjoyable, and downsizing is downright stressful, there are ways to make both processes a bit more tolerable. We hope the tips above help you get the job done with more ease and a little more fun. In case you missed it, they also serve as some ideas to add to your spring cleaning music playlist!