Tips for Downsizing Seniors

Downsizing Seniors is often a difficult task, because many times they have lived in one space a long time and have accumulated years and years of personal belongings.  We encourage you, whether you or your parents are of a senior age, to begin the process early.  We typically know when there will be a need for living arrangement shifts or changes within the next few years.  I like to say don’t anticipate the worst, but plan for the future.  It is never a good idea to wait until tragedy strikes or an ailment forces living arrangement changes and you have to deal not only with the incident, but also the clutter at the same time.

Here are six great tips given by Mary Kay Buysse, executive director for the National Association of Senior Move Managers in an article I recently ran across by Marni Jameson on

  • Bring in an outsider: Parents, no matter how old, will always see their children as children. When the adult child takes control, that upsets the equilibrium. “It can get messy,” Buysse said. Couples often resort to blaming each other for the excess. Having an unrelated objective party helps a lot.
  • It gets easier: Start with the easiest places, Buysse said. Clear out the basement, the garage, and the kids’ bedrooms. Over time, you get desensitized to the downsizing process, so it gets easier.
  • Attitude is everything: Moves to downsize are easier when seniors choose to move…, rather than when the move chooses them, which happens when they become too frail, have an accident, lose a spouse who made independent living possible or start having cognitive issues.
  • Find the silver lining: “At first glance, moving into a smaller home or into assisted living may seem to seniors like their independence is shrinking, but it’s actually expanding,” Buysse said. “Going to the right level of care can expand independence and quality of life and extend life.”
  • For a fee: Most senior move managers charge between $25 and $60 per hour, according to an NASMM survey; most (82 percent) spend between 17 and 33 hours total per client.
  • Allow time: It took 40 years to build a home. You don’t have to dispose of it all in two weekends. Give the process the dignity it deserves. But do keep moving.

Hopefully these tips and insights will give you the courage you need to start on your decluttering journey.  You will thank yourself later.  Please use the following link if you would like to read the entire article How to Help A Senior Downsize on



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About Dana LaRieal Morales

Dana LaRieal Morales is the Founder of The Happiness Bucket where she coaches individuals and teams on having a better work-life balance. She is a Certified Project Manager, an Alum of the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she earned her degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice and she is also an Alum of Tennessee State University where she earned her Masters in Public Administration, She uses her vast organization, project management and process improvement experiences to help those around her be their best selves.

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