As we learned recently in the news, for the first time in Canadian history seniors outnumber children in Canada (5.9 million Canadians over 65 compared to 5.8 million Canadians 14 and under), I can’t help but wonder what impact this will have on the way we live, how much we live with, and how transitions from big family homes to smaller spaces will be made. With baby boomers aging, and fertility rates declining, demographic change is all around us. With that comes the challenge of meeting the needs of all involved.
As a professional organizer, it is increasingly apparent that people of all ages are keen to live with more ease when it comes to their space and belongings. We know there are numerous benefits to being more organized, structured and efficient – in essence, more in control of our space and stuff so we feel less stress and more satisfaction.
What factors must we (organizers, family members, adult children, society, etc.) consider in order to support seniors as they transition to smaller living spaces and enter a new phase of life?
- Downsizing into a smaller space often means leaving behind decades of belongings and memories
- Organizing and de-cluttering may be a welcome change, but for many seniors, it happens because of a specific event – death of a loved one, house too large, health issues, financial pressure, etc.
- Deciding how to make a big move can be overwhelming, time-consuming and stressful
- Throughout the process questions about what to keep, give away, donate, or pass on surface
- Thinking about which family members can help, or will receive items, is ongoing
Organizers provide non-judgmental, encouraging and practical advice about what might be best. As a non-biased, patiently, yet firm doer, a trained professional organizer can expertly guide your “letting go and releasing process” in order to successfully make the transition.
- Questions about what to do with family heirlooms and items of value arise consistently – who decides what is of value or not?
- If items are deemed valuable, can they be sold? Where? What is the process for this?
- Will other family members argue over items of value – what is in place to alleviate stress in this area?
- How much will moving and storage cost? Do I need storage, and if so, how much does it cost?
- How can we hire professional organizers to manage the entire process?
Professional organizers know how to efficiently work through your house and provide advice on items of value and selling options. We also provide guidance when it comes to storage versus deep de-clutter, as well as involving family members or other outside services. Personalized, efficient and reliable service are key – we do what needs to be done in a fraction of the time it takes the client.
- There may be physical limitations to consider when downsizing
- Some physical activity can simply be too difficult, and even dangerous, for seniors
- No one wants to compromise their health over lifting heavy boxes
- After de-cluttering to downsize, typically there are more boxes and bags to donate, sell, recycle, trash, etc., than clients thought they would have. Dealing with all of them can be overwhelming
An organizer is ready to do the hard, physical work, along with the dirty work, to get the job done effectively and efficiently. We dig into the deep dark corners of every drawer, cupboard, closet, shelf, and outdoor space in order to make the transition as smooth as it can be.
As professional organizers, we not only believe but see from experience, that living with only what you really need and maximizing that value is a recipe for living with more ease. We understand the challenges associated with downsizing, especially among seniors, and we are committed to helping all clients navigate the process with as much sanity, and smiles as possible.
Is this helpful as you perhaps navigate the world of seniors and downsizing? Please send your comments, feedback, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Having caught the organizational bug early on trying to “balance” things out as an elite gymnast, Jessica Tudos brings a diverse set of skills and experiences to her role as a professional organizer. Drawing from her global work as an experiential educator, author, and motivational speaker, Jessica is on a mission to empower people to lead healthy, creative and organized lives.