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6 Tips for Spring Downsizing and Decluttering

Mar 16, 2021

Finally – spring is approaching! If you’re anything like us, you’re more than ready to throw open the windows, air out the winter dust and dirt (and blues) and get ready for a brighter, happier and healthier 2021. For older adults who are considering downsizing and moving into a Life Care Community, this spring season is the perfect opportunity to get your ducks in a row and prepare for a new chapter, says Lynda Marino, Marketing Director for Canterbury Woods Williamsville.

“We’ve heard from a lot of older individuals who came to the realization during the pandemic that they want to live in a community of their peers where there are plenty of opportunities for socialization, engagement and enjoyment,” she says. “Our patio homes for independent living residents are a perfect option for this group. These homes are designed specifically for the needs of older adults so that they can age comfortably in place. Paired with the worry- and maintenance-free lifestyle available at Canterbury Woods Williamsville, downsizing and moving into a patio home is the perfect solution for older adults who want to enjoy this next stage of life.”

Lynda says that many older adults choose to downsize their home during retirement because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of home maintenance, would like to say goodbye to certain living expenses and also simply don’t need all that space. “We like to say that moving to a Life Care Community like Canterbury Woods Williamsville gives older adults the opportunity to ‘rightsize’ their lifestyle,” she says. “However, this does mean planning ahead and making decisions about what possessions will come with you to your new home and what items you’ll be able to let go.”

Downsizing can seem overwhelming at first, but with a little planning and a few deadlines, Lynda says that you’ll find it much easier than you expected. “The hardest step is getting started,” she says. “Just remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t downsize in a day, either. Instead, start small, be flexible and give yourself plenty of time and by the end of spring, you’ll have a streamlined and decluttered space that will be the perfect jumping-off point for your new chapter of life.”

Create an end goal.

While downsizing and decluttering for the sake of it is a perfectly good reason, sometimes we need to set a goal in order to get in the right frame of mind. Before you start pulling things out of your closet, set a goal, whether it’s an actual “hard” goal or more of a generality. Having a reason to downsize can be a great motivator – for example, if you’d like to move into a patio home in Canterbury Woods Williamsville by the end of 2021. Knowing that you’re downsizing for a purpose rather than “just because” may be the boost you need to follow through with your decluttering plans. 

Eat the elephant one bite at a time.

As the old saying goes: “There is only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.” Having a big lofty goal such as “decluttering the house” can be overwhelming. So, set small goals for yourself that will allow you to see the process play out and give you even more motivation. Sit down and create a list and schedule for how you’re going to accomplish anything. How will you start the process? What packing items and such will you need? Have a plan of action and cut your timeline up into manageable chunks. 

Start small.

This is called the “snowball effect” – starting with a small task so that you get the “boost” of accomplishing it, which will give you more motivation to tackle bigger and bigger processes. Downsizing experts say that starting with a smaller space that has little emotional weight – like a linen closet or your spare bedroom – can help you get the process rolling. Save the big spaces, like the kitchen, garage or basement, for later on in the process.

Be decisive.

Create three piles for all your items: Keep, Give Away and Trash. Resist the urge to have a “Maybe” pile. Go through every item in the room and place it in one of the three piles. Don’t spend a lot of time on an individual item – listen to your gut and make a quick decision. This is one of the reasons why experts recommend going through a room that has little emotional weight – it’s a lot easier to get rid of old towels and sheets than it is your children’s old knickknacks.

Clean as you go (and make a “need to fix” list while you’re at it).

While you have everything pulled out of your closets and other spaces, take the opportunity to do a deep clean to make everything sparkle. At the same time, look around and note anything that may need to be updated or fixed before you put your home on the market (whenever that may be). Chipped baseboards, squeaky doors, anything broken – this is your opportunity to take a hard look and find what you can fix quickly and easily. 

Make it fun.

Having friends and family help you out with the decluttering and downsizing process can make it a lot more fun and provide a great energy to the process. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to make a decision on whether or not to keep something because you’ll have a second pair of eyes who can help you talk through things. It’s also a great opportunity for, say, adult children to look at your possessions and perhaps take some items off your hands. It can make letting go of things a lot easier if you know they’re going to a good home – and a home where you’ll be able to see them in use.

Spring is the perfect time for new beginnings and new opportunities, and getting a head start on cleaning, decluttering and downsizing your living space is the perfect way to get yourself ready for a new chapter of life. If you have questions about downsizing or would like some more tips, contact us and we’d be happy to discuss how you could fit in at our one-of-a-kind Life Care Community.

Find Your Fulfillment 

Canterbury Woods Williamsville is a Continuing Care Retirement Community like you’ve never seen. Canterbury Woods Williamsville is not only the perfect location for rest and relaxation, thanks to 62 tranquil acres, but there’s also easy access to Buffalo’s urban location. Offering the highest quality independent living lifestyle and security, you’ll be part of a welcoming community consisting of both friends and neighbors while experiencing gracious living, first-class health care and the freedom to create the lifestyle you desire. 

Continuum of Care

As a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Canterbury Woods Communities provide a comfortable environment and first-rate services to support every level of need. Assisted living apartments allow Williamsville residents to benefit from additional support while maintaining their independent lifestyle. If skilled nursing, rehabilitation or memory care is ever needed, residents can experience the support they require. They can also enjoy all this and more at our sister community in Buffalo. 

Contact us today to discover more about Canterbury Woods Williamsville! (716) 427-6928


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