At Restoring Order, we are more than just organizers; we are life transition specialists! We help with moving, packing, unpacking, dealing with divorce, children moving out, or downsizing to a smaller home or retirement living.

Some people greet the transition of moving into a retirement community with open arms, relieved to be rid of the responsibilities of owning a home and happy to be parting with years of clogging clutter.

Others, however, experience this time with a great sense of loss. What can seem like a natural transition can bring you face to face with the past. Some may feel pressure, fear, and insecurity about the perception of diminished independence, privacy, and belongings.

It is so important that this process be handled with honor for all involved to make this transition easy, positive, and even freeing.

For some, downsizing can be overwhelming as you go through your belongings and figure out what you can keep and what needs to go.

Our professional organizers walk through these transitions with clients, providing guidance, resources for donations, and a helping practical hand. We help with the decision making process and even with moving into the new place.

We wanted to share 5 practical moving strategies that we used to help a client achieve a successful transition into retirement living.

Our client was moving from her home into a 55 and over retirement community. She began the process feeling that she could handle the project on her own. She packed up and began moving her things into her new apartment.

Eventually, however, the process became overwhelming. She called our office in tears because she felt stuck and didn’t know how to proceed.


How do you fit a lifetime of belongings and memories into a new, smaller space?

 

moving strategies for downsizing

Our consultant, Tiffany, took on this project with grace and warmth, assuring her that together they could make this new space work.

They began by focusing on one area at a time to break the task into manageable pieces.

In each space they looked with fresh eyes and created a vision for the space.

The client was able to see that certain items didn’t work in the new space and that letting go of some things would allow her to function better in her new home.  She came to the realization that letting go of “things” gave her the opportunity for a new, fresh start to live simply, within her means, and in a more fulfilling way.

After going through her belongings with a new perspective, hanging pictures, and moving furniture, this client finally had a new space that felt like home.

moving strategies for downsizing - living room

Here are some of our team’s favorite downsizing and general moving strategies, whether you’re transitioning into a smaller space, moving in with loved ones, or transitioning elegantly into a retirement campus:

1. Gather the team. Determine which family members or friends can be recruited to help with the process. Like anything else, it takes a village to do life! If no family or friends can help, Restoring Order can provide the staff to help.

2. Determine whether you will use a moving company or pack and move yourself. Evaluate cost, time, materials, and ease of mind. Some folks have a hard time letting many others handle their belongings but they could partner with another person to manage what can be an emotional process.

3. Once you know your destination home, take a good look at your belongings and decide if you need to let anything go. (The answer is usually YES – a lot!)

    • Focusing on how the things you don’t need or use anymore can bless someone else in need is a VERY helpful strategy.
    • We work with our clients and provide resources for how to donate nearly anything – from medical supplies to old technology to clothing and toys. We can arrange for an auction house, estate sale, or just carloads of donations to help prune the stuff that will not bring value and meaning to your life in this next chapter.
    • Taking photos of things that have sentimental value but actually letting them go to someone who can USE them is a terrific strategy to keep the memories but clear space.

4. Create a checklist of everything you need to do between NOW and THEN (whenever your move date is – if you know it. If not, set a month by which you want to have transitioned. Otherwise you will likely put off the transition until it is necessary and you’re under pressure.)

    • Begin with a master “brain dump” of all that needs to be done. Your list should include everything from selling furniture or handing it off to relatives, sorting out each room of the home, finding your next home, packing, financial planning for the next phase, etc
    • Break the master list up by month, and then by week. This will give you TREMENDOUS peace of mind to know you have a game plan and are working towards that plan incrementally.

5. Make appointments with yourself (or your organizer or family/friend) to move your process forward week-by-week. Working together with someone else actually helps you transition more naturally as you have many weeks and months to think about the transition, dream, plan, prune, and set up your next chapter for unencumbered enjoyment and fulfillment.

6. Don’t forget to ENJOY the journey. Reward yourself along the way. Document your process if that makes you feel better. Celebrate with friends and family. Make a ceremony of handing off certain belongings. Honor yourself in the process by keeping the people and belongings around you that add meaning and fulfillment to your life, and shed that which doesn’t.

 

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