Downsizing help for seniors

Lesson 5: Free online downsizing course

Our clients have received help from all kinds of different sources when it comes to the hands-on component of downsizing and decluttering.

Downsizing can often involve the manual handling of tens of thousands of household objects so a second pair of hands or more can often help really move things along.

Here are some different types of people that our clients have leaned on for help in the past. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages.

1. Family

Whilst some seniors find that family members can be problematic as a resource during their declutter and downsize, others have found family members to be indispensable. We often work in conjunction with family members to help our clients get to the other side of the downsizing process.

But if you don’t have suitable family members nearby, that is not a problem either. There are several other options you may be able to use.

2. Friends

Many people are very reluctant to ask friends to help and you may not have a friend who you want to have come for weekly sessions to help you sort and go through everything. Also, this might be an uncomfortable request for you to make.

However if you don’t want to ask for that type of commitment from a friend you might consider asking for help around some of the peripheral tasks such as going shopping together for new furniture or helping to unpack if you’re downsizing for moving. Often friends are very willing to help.

3. Young neighbours

Though we tend not to use younger staff members at Downsizing with Care (we prefer that our team members have a depth of life experience behind them and are comfortable and able to help with the project management side of things), there is definitely a time and a place for younger helpers on a downsizing project.
Younger people can be of great assistance if you choose to sell things online or you have other tasks that you trust them to perform.

4. Careworkers

Though some of our clients have had mixed experiences with paid careworkers assisting them to declutter and/or move, for some people this is their only option for help and support. In the instance that you’re using a care worker to support you, make sure that the boundaries are quite clear and that you perhaps use professional downsizers or professional packers to help you pack and unpack everything.
We’ve seen a few disasters where people have trusted careworkers with the packing and unpacking and good intentions have not translated to safe arrival of items in a move.

5. Professional downsizing help

Though it is an investment to engage professionals to assist in your downsizing project, it can actually save you money in the long run and help with peace of mind in the process. Often downsizing professionals can connect you with the appropriate sales outlets for your items of value so that you can recoup some of the cost of your downsize. They can work with you at your own pace to make sure that you are looked after through the process and can help you juggle the moving parts of a downsizing project.

Because downsizing professionals work with people to declutter and downsize for a living, they’ve seen it all before and know the different resources and contacts to help make the process go as smoothly as possible. They are generally empathetic and impartial, and often, in Australia, their services can often be funded through the NDIS or through a home care package.

Obviously we’re biased towards the use of professional downsizing services, but whatever help you choose, make sure that the expectations around roles are clear and that you have a comfortable working relationship with the type of helper that you bring in.

Above all else, you should remain in the position where you’re still in charge and the person is following your wishes.

All the best with your downsizing project and if you want to discuss our services feel free to get in touch.

Next lesson: How much to keep when decluttering

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