Pretty much everyone is familiar with the term “Downsizing.” What this can mean to a lot of older adults is a sad parting with things they have used and loved for many years, and as a result, downsizing can have a negative connotation. Instead of just experiencing loss as you clear out your home of many years in preparation to move to something smaller, think about “Rightsizing” instead.
So what is Rightsizing and how is it different from Downsizing? Rightsizing is a shift in perspective from Downsizing and puts the focus on what you need in your new home rather than what you are leaving behind in your old home. In other words, it looks forward rather than only backward. It is an approach that can help bring joy and anticipation to change rather than only feeling a sense of loss. Some basic concepts of Rightsizing are noted below:
• Focus on the furniture that will work in your new home: consider size and function.
• Use furniture and artwork in new ways and/or different rooms.
• Buy something new for your new home such as a kitchen or dining table that is smaller in scale better suited to your new space.
• Perk up an old lamp with a new lampshade.
• Add some color to you bathroom and/or bedroom with new towels, shower curtain and/or a new bedspread.
• Make a scrapbook of family photos that you don’t have space to hang.
• Edit your kitchen – how many sets of china, glassware, silverware, pans, etc. do you really need? Keep the things you use and love the most.
• Have a bunch of mismatched glasses or dishes that have seen better days? Get something new and treat yourself.
• Keep clothes and shoes in good condition that fit you, that you like, and that you wear.
While Rightsizing can involve buying a few new things, this does not have to be expensive. Let your family and friends know what you would like. Buy things on sale. Check out consignment stores, thrift stores, antique stores, yard sales, etc. Rightsizing might sound like it is the opposite of downsizing, but it is not. It does include letting go of old things that you have accumulated over your lifetime. Thank these belongings for the pleasure and service they have given you, and let them go on to be of use to someone else. This could be a family member, a friend, or a complete stranger who gets something of yours through your charitable donation. This is truly a wonderful and satisfying way to help people who need things that you no longer need or use.
Another aspect of Rightsizing is that it can be used to organize your home. Kitchens, bathrooms and closets are the areas to focus on here. There are a number of containers, trays, shelf extenders, bins, etc. that can help organize and maximize the usefulness of a variety of spaces in your new home. Repurpose an old basket a bin, a piece of plastic ware. Maybe something you used in the office would work well in a kitchen or bathroom for organizing miscellaneous items. Think about old things in a new way. Check out the variety of styles and sizes of silverware, utensil and other containers that are available. A final note to say about Rightsizing is that it can bring some fun, creativity, and joy into a moving process that is otherwise stressful.
Holly Hansen, Partner
612-605-7303 - www.BrilliantMovesMN.com
EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org