“People mistakenly believe downsizing will be painstaking and require you to give up the things you love,” says Cheryl Blaney, professional organizer and the owner of Next Chapter Senior Services. She’s helped many older adults transition to more manageable homes, and she has great news: “Neither of these myths is true.”
Here are five common downsizing myths Cheryl regularly encounters…
I don’t need to think about downsizing until it’s time to move.
“Start now,” encourages Cheryl. “Avoid ending up in a situation where you don’t have a choice about what you can take with you. Make decisions while there is no time pressure.”
It’s impossible to decide what should stay and what should go.
“Get a floor plan of the type of home you’d like. Use it to determine how your current belongings will fit,” Cheryl advises. “It doesn’t have to be specific. If you envision yourself in a two-bedroom condo, find a standard floor plan, it will help you be realistic.”
Downsizing is stressful and overwhelming.
“Not having a plan is what makes it stressful,” says Cheryl. She’s an expert in helping people strategize and eliminate worry. “We prepare a step-by-step plan and a step-by-step estimate. Even if people decide not to work with us, they still have a plan they can follow.”
I’ll just give everything to my kids.
Family members may not have room for the items you want to give them. “Don’t be offended,” Cheryl counsels. “What they do want is to share your personal history. If you want to pass along meaningful items, include a card that tells the story of how you got it and what it means to you.”
I’ll have to throw all my stuff away.
You can pass along your cherished possessions to someone who will also value them. Cheryl assists many of her clients in gifting special items to family members, selling to collectors through online auctions or websites, or donating to favourite local charities.
There’s one more myth Cheryl is happy to quash when she’s working with seniors who are downsizing and preparing for a new chapter…
Living in a seniors community is expensive!
It’s not true,” declares Cheryl, who has assisted many seniors in moving into retirement communities. “Do the math. Add up the cost of your groceries, hydro, cable, phone, property taxes and maintenance, transportation, housecleaning services, meals delivered or brought in and memberships for your activities; you may find the cost of a retirement community is comparable.”
“I often recommend seniors consider improving their lifestyle by moving to a retirement community,” says Cheryl, whose parents lived in Sunridge Gardens for many years. “There are so many benefits. No more cooking or housekeeping; an instant social life; transportation support; daily activities, and events. You won’t get those things living in a condo or apartment.”
Discover the benefits of downsizing with the assistance of professionals by contacting Cheryl at Next Chapter Seniors Services.
Find out about the benefits of upsizing your lifestyle through all-inclusive retirement living in a Bria Community. In Langley, contact contact Sherri (604.351.8668.) Or if you’re interested in our Tsawwassen residences, contact Andie Bakehouse (604.364.7156.)