Seniors usually know that there will come a day when they’ll have to downsize. They do it to simplify lifestyle, cut costs, be closer to grandchildren, or address medical needs. It’s a stressful process, both emotionally and physically. But, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are some tips for helping a senior downsize before the move.

What matters most

Ask your senior which of their belongings they can’t part with. Help them make a list of things they treasure most. But, make sure your senior knows that there will not be as much space as he’s used to. 

Man Old Time - Helping a senior downsize

Helping a senior downsize is easier when you start early.

Helping a senior downsize – Secure treasured possessions

We all know that moving for seniors 101 is hard, but, downsizing and moving can be hectic. Also, putting a home up for sale adds another layer of complexity to the process. But, renting a storage space or borrowing the use of a family member’s garage or basement to place treasured belongings during the move might help. It will eliminate the risk of something happening to those items. Also, it makes the house look more spacious to potential buyers.

Helping a senior downsize – Create a floor plan for the new home

If your senior has already chosen a senior living community or condominium, get the room dimensions. Then, measure every piece of furniture your senior wants to take into the room. Use these measurements to make a room-by-room floor plan for their new home on graph paper. It will show you how many of their belongings can fit into the new space.

Start early and take your time

Senior that had lived in his home for many years, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the idea of downsizing. He will procrastinate about starting. So, this process will become even more difficult. That’s why you need to start helping a senior downsize early. Even before you start searching for a senior living community. It will give you the advantage of time. Also, visit sites like and find the professional movers that will help you relocate. 

Have a plan for disposing of unwanted items

Finding out what to do with the items that are not needed can take time. Most likely you have a variety of non-profit organizations in your community that welcome donation. But, you’ll have to figure out what they will take. Old electronic devices can be difficult to dispose of. Some charities offer pick-up services for donating larger pieces of furniture or many boxes of smaller items. Also, remember to ask the charity for a receipt. Because then, seniors can deduct these donations on their taxes. Plus, you can try handy tips for organizing a garage sale and try to earn some money.

Yard Sale

Organize a yard sale to get rid of the items you no longer need.

Helping a senior downsize – Where and how to start downsizing

Finally, sit down with your senior and make a plan for where and how to get started. For some people, it’s helpful to go through the whole house and declutter. Then, you can start a room-by-room approach to dig in and pack up.