Many of us are spending more time than ever at home. As you practice social distancing in light of COVID-19, you may have more hours to look around and notice that collection of tea pots on the top of your kitchen cabinets or the overflow of boxes in the garage that seem to encroach on your actual parking space. You see how your home is too large, too small, or not the right configuration for your current lifestyle.
Make the most of this time by considering what would be ideal for you — and moving toward that goal.
What is rightsizing?
Rightsizing allows you to look at your everyday life and your values and determine if the space you’re working hard to maintain is working for you.
Rightsizing differs from downsizing in that you aren’t necessarily looking for a smaller space as you age, but rather finding the right size for every stage of life. It is looking at all the factors and determining what fits and what doesn’t. Ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you feel you have enough space or too much space for your daily life?
- How is your space being currently used?
- How much of your home are you currently using for storage?
- What percentage of your home is often empty?
- Which parts of your home are most actively used?
- What activities do I most enjoy at home?
- What am I missing by living here?
- How much effort and money does it take now to maintain this house?
- How much space might I need in 5 years?
Make the most of your time
For many seniors, these questions lead to simplifying their living situation and finding a place where they can comfortably with less home maintenance. If you find yourself in that category, this pandemic may be the perfect time to begin sorting through those items you no longer need.
How do you begin this process? Here are 5 ways to get a jumpstart on rightsizing:
- Take it one project at a time. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the basement or garage, tackle one project at a time. Break a big goal into smaller goals. For example, instead of saying, “I will clean out my garage this week,” say, “I will clean off this one shelf in the garage today.” Then the next day, tackle another shelf. It may take a few days to start seeing progress, but as you do, you’ll continue to build momentum to clear away what you no longer need.
- Create a system. As you go through your storage areas, create four boxes: Donate, Sell, Trash, Keep. As you sort through each item, categorize it. Be honest. If you haven’t used an item recently, put it in a bin to move out of your house.
- Try digital preservation. We all feel sentimental about old photos and letters. The drawing your daughter sent home from camp or the popsicle house your son made in preschool may seem too precious to trash. However sentimental items quickly overtake your home. Instead of keeping the popsicle house or stack of letters, take photos. It’s really the memory you want to keep and not the stuff. Plus, your children and grandchildren will love having digital versions of family memories.
- Cash in. Some of your home clutter is valuable. Look for opportunities to sell at a local consignment shop, on Facebook Marketplace or eBay.
- Get help. There are professional services that can help with decluttering and organization. Sometimes having an impartial third party makes all the difference in deciding what to keep, donate, sell or trash.
If you know you will be moving into a Senior Living Community, such as Montereau, look at the housing options. Knowing the size of your prospective new home will also help you in knowing what to keep and what to sell, donate or trash.