Archive for Senior Home Downsizing – Page 2

Seniors Considering Downsizing: A Moving Checklist for Helping You Decide What Stays & What Goes

moving checklistThis is the tough part. Where do you begin if your current home is packed full of years of accumulation? How do I decide what stays and what goes? Here’s a simple checklist to help you in this process… and remember, it’s never too early to begin planning.

Start by space planning to determine what will fit in the new home.

Sorting through your belongings:

Start in rooms that will be easier (i.e., not being used).

Take it a room at a time = less overwhelmed.

Start with larger items to decide how much space you need.

Save the family photos and treasures for last.

Call a family meeting to distribute personal belongings and share your memories about each item before giving it away.

Determine what to keep, what goes to family and friends, what to donate, what to trash and what to sell (it’s OK to re-gift).

When in doubt, throw it out. If you can’t bear to lose the memory of an item, take a picture of it before you let it go.

Keep a list and mark all items.

What does go, arrange for an auction (including E-Bay), Garage Sale or Estate Sale.

Have a moving party and share the favorite memories of your home.

Pass on the history of your home to the new owner to keep the memories alive.

JoJo Harmon is a realtor with Prudential California Realty in Orange County California and has earned the Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation (SRES). Realtors with the SRES designation have demonstrated the knowledge and expertise to counsel senior clients through lifestyle transitions. She specialized in residential homes, relocations, investment properties, senior 55+ housing and fine homes and estates from Newport Beach to San Clemente.

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Photo: ©Depositphotos / Ruth Black

Are You Ready for Retirement?

saving for retirementPeople today are living much longer than any previous generation. However, according to a recent article in the Hamilton Spectator, few Canadians are saving enough for their retirement years. This is even more serious in light of the recent federal budget delaying eligibility for Old Age Security to age 67.

Living longer costs more. That’s simple math. So, the sooner you start planning for retirement, the more you’ll be able to enjoy your “golden years.”

“Income is one of the most important health determinants and the basis of an individual’s ability to access appropriate housing and transportation required to maintain independence; nutritious and sufficient food to maintain health; and non-insured medical services and supports such as medication and home support.”  – Planning for Canada’s Aging Population

Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who loves their job and doesn’t plan to retire early, stuff happens. You might become ill or injured, you could be laid off, or you may have to stay home to care for your parent(s) or your spouse.

The earlier you begin investing in your retirement savings, the better off you’ll be!

This online retirement savings calculator will help you figure out how much you’ll need to save, but you should get in touch with a certified financial planner to discuss your situation in detail and figure out the best approach for you.

Proper planning can make a big difference to the housing options that will be open to you in the future!

Photo © Wayne Ruston –

Preparing to Downsize

Today I welcome Moreen Torpy, one of my colleagues from Professional Organizers in Canada, as my first guest blogger.

a journey down memory laneSo you’re thinking of downsizing your home. That can be a frightening concept, especially if you’ve lived in the same place for many years. But there’s a solution to banish that fear.

Why are you downsizing? If it’s to spend more time enjoying life rather than maintaining a large house with lots of empty rooms, that’s a good place to begin planning. What are you most looking forward to doing? Travelling, taking up a new hobby, spending more time with family and friends? Maybe volunteering?

Where will you begin? The best place to start is in a room you seldom use. You will have the least attachment here, so you can work more quickly.

One caveat though—don’t overdo the time you spend on this. It will be very tiring both physically and emotionally. Empty this room as much as possible so you have a place to pack and store the items you’ll be taking with you to your new place.

Basic organizing rules apply to downsizing too. With each item, ask yourself whether you really love it, if you’ve used it in the recent past, if it still fits both you and your lifestyle. Consider how much storage you’ll have in your new place as well. There’s no point trying to move a 3-bedroom home with basement and attic into a one-bedroom condo or apartment. It simply won’t work.

Be ruthless with your decision-making. If any family member wishes to have certain articles, if you can give them now, do so and this will reduce what you need to pack. And they can enjoy using your gifts right away.

The journey down memory lane may be a long one, so take this into account. The whole downsizing process will probably take much longer than you expect, especially when you begin going through memorabilia.

Decide what you will definitely use in your new place first. If you don’t already use your best china, now is the time to begin and leave the everyday dishes behind. Or, you might give that china to a family member and purchase new, more practical replacements. This is the time to enjoy your things so keep only those that you love around you.

Enjoy the journey! The destination will be a whole new world of experiences ready for you to enjoy and embrace. Happy landings!

What can you do today to begin downsizing?

© Moreen Torpy

We would be honored for you to reprint this article. If you do, please include the resource box below with the hyperlinks intact.

Moreen Torpy is the De-Clutter Coach, a Trained Professional Organizer, Author, and Speaker. Her new book is Going Forward: Downsizing, Moving and Settling In. See for more about the book including where to purchase it, and to learn about her organizing services.

6 Healthy Tips for Caregivers

woman with walkerCaring for an elderly parent can take a lot out of you, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

As a caregiver, you may be more concerned with your parent’s health and well-being than you are of your own. It’s very easy to overlook your health because of the responsibilities you have, whether you’re handling their finances, taking them to appointments, or assisting with their daily personal care. And all of this is on top of everything you do to manage your own household: keeping the house clean, doing laundry, paying bills, and so on.

Please understand that it’s important for you to stay healthy. After all, if you get sick then who is going to get everything done? Below are some tips that you need to follow to ensure your good health.

Tip #1 – Eat

Obviously, you don’t have a lot of time to eat, but this is essential to staying healthy. Most of us know that we need to eat three meals a day, but do you also know that you should be eating at least two snacks a day as well? This will keep your metabolism going and your energy levels up – so don’t skimp on your food. You should be eating healthy foods too. Things like yogurt, fruit, granola bars and nuts are quick, easy and healthy!

Tip #2 – Drink

Water that is. In addition to eating healthy foods, you need to be drinking water throughout your day. We’ve all heard the “8 glasses a day” speech so I’m not going to give it to you again. Just stay properly hydrated. It will keep your energy levels up as well as flush the impurities out of your body and ward off urinary tract infections and much more.

Tip #3 – Exercise

Your body needs exercise each day and it doesn’t care whether you’re a caregiver or not. Although you may find yourself busy during the day and exhausted at night, it’s important that you squeeze in at least 20-30 minutes of exercise each day. There are several ways you can do this. For instance, you can go for a walk after dinner, play Xbox Kinect or Nintendo Wii games with your family, or enroll in a yoga class at a fitness club.

Tip #4 – Be Happy

We women tend to overload ourselves with work, family and worries. There isn’t much time to focus on being happy. However, this is important too. Studies have shown that, generally, happy people are healthier people. In order to become happier, consider setting aside a little time for yourself every day – or week – to do something you like doing. This time will help you feel refreshed and become happier.

Tip #5 – Sleep

Getting a good night of sleep is critical to your overall health. Sleep is when your body recharges itself. So, naturally, if you aren’t getting enough sleep you aren’t operating on a “full battery,” which means you’ll wear out quicker. It also means your body will too, which depletes your immune system. So, get the sleep you need at night.

Tip #6 – Get Help

There’s no rule that says you have to do it all yourself! If caring for your aging parent is affecting your health, email us or call 905-971-9568 to find out how we can help.

Photo © Joann Cooper –