How does one who is looking to downsize and move into senior living use the KonMari Method to tackle the overwhelming task of getting rid of years or clutter and memories? The KonMari Method developed by Marie Kondo and made famous through her books and Netflix show Tidying Up is a great way to take on a major downsize.
When seniors are moving to a smaller space it is very important to only take the things that “spark joy” in their everyday life. When moving to a senior community, the space is used for their basic every day needs, but there’s not a lot of room for extras. To make it harder, emotions are heightened during a transition causing everything to “spark joy” so one must be careful to be realistic about how little space they have. Even after getting rid of the items that no longer “spark joy” one may need to go through once more to downsize further to ensure that things fit in the much smaller space.
- Clothes – Clothing is a great place to start. Begin to think of your new lifestyle in a senior community. You most likely no longer need work clothes, but you may dress up more for meals in the public dining room than you do at home. When you visit your new space, make sure you measure the rods in the closet to see how much linear space you have. Mark that off in your existing house and make sure you continue downsizing until your clothes fit into that space.
- Books – Many times we have books in our home that we haven’t read and never will; let those go. We also have books that we have read and loved but will never read again. Those can also go. In senior communities a bookshelf is pretty easy to fit into the floor plan. To make sure everything will fit, stage the books you are keeping on the shelf you plan to take. Keep downsizing until everything fits.
- Paper – We all have more paper than we need to keep. Start going through your files and piles to get rid of things you no longer need. If you are not sure how long to keep items. You can usually fit a small desk and possibly a filing cabinet or file box into your smaller space.
- Komono/Miscellany – Changes are, you will no longer have a garage in your new home so most of what is in your garage will no longer be needed. When you plan out your kitchen, think about how many meals are provided by the community and how much cooking you will actually be doing to plan accordingly. For miscellaneous items throughout the house make sure there will be a home for the things you keep. Start by clearing out furniture you are taking of anything that you no longer need and then use that space to store additional items you find and want to keep.
- Sentimental Items – Marie Kondo saves the hardest for last. Hopefully by now you have let go of a lot and realized that you survived and maybe even feel a little lighter and freer. However, these items will be harder to let go. Maybe you can pass along items to family to use and enjoy. For other items that you don’t want to forget, take a picture and create an album. If you have collections that just won’t fit, take one or two of your favorites to proudly display in your new house. Then donate excess items to people who will enjoy them or have an estate sale.
Downsizing makes life so much simpler and easier to manage. Once you downsize, you will find you feel lighter and ready to take on new adventures.
For 16 years, we at Practical Solutions have been helping client let go of what is not important to make room in their lives for what is important. We have seen lives changed by organizing and would love the opportunity to help you let go of the clutter and make room for what is important in your life.