Spring has often signified an opportunity for renewal, whether it’s revisiting your New Year resolution, finally cleaning out the fridge, or deciding to leave the stress of home maintenance behind altogether. If daily tasks like cooking and cleaning are becoming more difficult, it may be time to consider downsizing.

The process of downsizing can seem overwhelming at first, but by following these simple steps, the experience can be more joyful.

1. Find a Support System

Downsizing is too much for any one person to take on. Reach out to friends or family to see if they are able to help you. Professional downsizers can also help streamline the process. It’s important that members of your support system do not rush the process, are good listeners and are decisive.

2. Size Up Your New Home

Make sure you know the size of your new home and the rooms inside. This will help influence the amount of items you can keep. Check to see if your senior living community has a floor plan of your new home. Interactive floors plans, like those offered by The Village at Gainesville, provide detailed measurements to help you plan.

3. Create a System

The key to downsizing is organization. Systematically go through your house, starting with the rooms you use the least – often the attic or closets. Indicate items to keep, donate, sell and pass down with different colored post-it notes or labeled boxes. The color or label should indicate the action for the item.

4. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Sorting through decades of belongings takes time. Give yourself a couple of months before you plan to move to complete the process. Set weekly goals for rooms to be completed to keep you on track.

5. Remember Kindness

This process can be emotionally draining. Be kind to the members of your support system and be kind to yourself. Know that fewer possessions do not define your worth, focus instead on the exciting new adventure ahead.

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