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3 Downsizing Tips for Seniors in Independent Living Communities

independent living holladay

LIVING IN A retirement community such as the independent living center at Spring Gardens in Holladay comes with numerous conveniences to make your life easier. You get to enjoy a vibrant and active community with well-maintained community areas, friends living nearby, activities, and dining. There is less for you to clean and manage and more time for you to be doing the things you love.

However, the switch to an independent living community probably means you’re living in a smaller space than you’ve been accustomed to, which can result in a lot of clutter if you aren’t careful. Here are a few tips on how to prevent your independent living space from becoming a cluttered and stressful mess.

Keep the Things You Love; Let the Rest Go

How many of us hang onto old clothes we used to enjoy but haven’t worn in years? What about thoughtful gifts we received and don’t really love, even if we appreciate the care that went into them? Our tastes change over time, and even items we used to like might no longer be things we love today. You can appreciate an object for the happiness it brought you in the past, but don’t feel obligated to hang onto it forever if all it’s doing now is contributing to clutter.

This might feel jarring and wasteful, but try to embrace the mindset of Marie Kondo. If you received something as a gift, it has already served its purpose: the joy the giver felt giving it to you and the joy and appreciation you felt receiving it. Now you can give the item a new purpose by passing it on to someone else who might love it.

If you have items that you loved when you bought them but you no longer enjoy them or get much use out of them, try to remember the original happiness you felt when you bought them. They served their purpose by bringing you that initial happiness, but it’s okay to let the item go now. There are many options besides throwing something out that will give them new opportunities to be loved and useful: gifting them to family members, donating them to secondhand shops, or giving them to charity.

If you’d like to learn more about this approach to tidying up, we highly recommend Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Hopefully, you will be able to get the most enjoyment out of your living space by clearing out excess things, leaving more room to enjoy the things you truly love.

Take Advantage of Technology

If you have multiple filing cabinets full of decades of documents and paperwork, they’re probably taking up a lot of physical space in your life. It may be intimidating to think of using technology to store these files, but there are several benefits. It’s safer to have digital files because you can easily keep multiple copies, you can access them quickly, and they don’t take up any space in your independent living home!

Making digital copies of your files is simple: just scan or take photos of each page with a phone, digital camera, or copier and upload them to your computer or online cloud storage. There are free options like Dropbox or Google drive that are very easy to use.

The key to keeping your digital files well organized is to give the files detailed names and sort them into digital folders that make sense to you. If you have so many papers that it seems like an impossible task or if you struggle with technology, you can enlist the help of a professional document imaging service or a friend or relative who is more familiar with technology.

Smart Storage: The Secret Weapon of Savvy Independent Living

If you have a lot of small items that clutter up your independent living space, decorative baskets, boxes, or trays can corral those items together. Knick-knacks that all sit on a tray instead of loose on a surface will look more organized. A basket for the books on the nightstand will help them look tidy. Sort the items on your bathroom counters into stackable plastic boxes.

If you have too many decorative items like photos, vases, candles, and ornaments, consider rotating them instead of having all of them on display at the same time. The rest can be tucked out of sight in a box under the bed or in the closet. Then you can keep your decor fresh by switching them every few months!

A Tidy Living Space Is a Weight Off Your Shoulders

Following these decluttering tips in your independent living apartment will help it feel like a relaxing home where you can feel refreshed instead of stressed. To learn more about Spring Gardens Senior Living in Holladay, you can check out our business page. If you’d like a visit of our community, get in touch, and make sure to check the map before you come to see us.

Declutter for the low-stress retirement you deserve!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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