Senior Citizen's Guide to Philadelphia and Suburbs Fall/Winter 2013 - page 28

The Art of Downsizing
Moving to a Smaller Living Space
My father passed away four
years ago, and my seventy-five
year old mother now lives alone
in a house that’s far too big for
her. She wants to downsize to a
smaller, more accessible space.
What are some tips to help her
prepare for this change?
Susan in
San Diego, CA
There are a variety of reasons
that people choose to downsize
to a smaller home. Like your
mother, many empty nesters de-
cide they can no longer maintain
a larger home, so they choose
to downsize. Even some young
families downsize, perhaps to
move into an affordable, older
home in a trendy area. Whatever
the reason, if your mother does
decide to move into a smaller
house, she’ll need to decide
which belongings are going to
go with her and which simply
won’t f it. Below are some tips
to make this transition as smooth
as possible:
1) SortYour Possessions:
first step to moving to a smaller
house is to sort through what
you own. Most people tend to
accumulate more than they need,
so moving is a good chance to
go through these possessions
and part with the unnecessary.
Decide with your mom what can
be thrown away, donated, given
to friends, stored, passed down or
even sold.
2) Evaluate Your Space:
Eva lua t e each room in your
mother’s current house as well
as her new, smaller house. Make
a plan for each room in the new
house. One suggestion is to make
a side-by-side chart in which you
list the furniture in the rooms
in your cur rent house next to
what can go into the correspond-
ing room in the smaller house.
Chances are, there are going to
be fewer rooms in the new home,
and she may not have room for
all of her current furniture.
3) ChangeYour Attitude:
It is
imperative to have the right attitude
as you downsize to a smaller home.
It can be especially difficult for
your mother, who may have lived
in that house for most of her life, to
part with the space. That said, focus
on the positives. This is a chance to
purge what she does not need or no
longer uses. She will be happiest
in her new space if her possessions
and furniture fit her – truly making
her new house a home.
Editorial provided by Rick
Finch, VP Marketing, Product &
Operations for
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