The very idea of downsizing from a large home full of furniture and memories can be overwhelming for any of us, including many seniors. The prospect of letting go of possessions and reducing your living space, or living smaller, could be easier if you consider all the benefits it offers in terms of your quality of life.
Imagine how much more free time you would have for activities you enjoy if you were not trudging from room to room dusting old dressers and forgotten sports trophies. The reality is too, you don’t need the things your children left behind when they moved out for good. If they have not come back for it, it’s highly unlikely they ever will. Why not donate unneeded furniture in decent shape to a good cause so it can be useful again?
It is incredibly liberating to get rid of old electronics and broken appliances you never got around to fixing. Having them sitting around is a daily reminder of yet another chore, when you could banish that stuff and instead focus on doing things you really enjoy that are more meaningful than fixing an old vacuum.
There is plenty of research linking loneliness and isolation to serious health issues. The restrictive nature of home maintenance and housekeeping can shackle you to a life that is no longer meaningful after retiring and becoming empty nesters. It could be keeping you from spending time with family and friends. The mental health benefits of having less stuff and space to care for and more time to spend with others or doing things you enjoy will probably outweigh most sentimentality attached to possessions.
If you have considered a move to a senior living community, having already started downsizing and becoming used to living smaller–so you can live more fully–will mean a smoother transition into a more carefree lifestyle. You can watch movies with friends on a big screen without having to dust it. You can play games without having to store them. Our community offers space to do arts and crafts, garden, cook and read without the responsibility of maintaining all of it. Better yet, all these things can be done with others who share your interests.
Living smaller is not living less. Having less can mean having a lot more; more time for yourself, more time for friends and more time to focus on the activities you truly enjoy.