The Wheaton Blog

Adjusting to a Smaller Space: Storage Solutions for Seniors

June 28, 2024 | Senior Moves

Moving into a smaller home is a significant transition. It comes with downsizing, planning packing and a lot of change! Figuring out what to do with your stuff takes careful consideration and can be an emotionally taxing experience. That’s why the moving experts at Wheaton have put together a few storage and downsizing tips to make your move as seamless as possible. 

Downsizing For Retirement 

The more you downsize, the easier your storage solution is going to be. Here are a few tips to get started:  

  • Declutter Gradually: Start the process of downsizing your home well before the move. Tackle one room at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed. 
  • Keep What Matters: Focus on keeping items that are necessary or hold sentimental value. If it hasn’t been used in a year, it might be time to let it go.
  • Sell or Donate: Sell items of value or donate items to charity—this can make parting with things easier knowing they’re going to good use.
  • Digitize Memories: Scan photos and important documents to reduce physical storage needs, effectively freeing up more square footage.

Need downsizing inspiration? Check out these shows to keep you motivated. Or if you’re looking for more downsizing tips, read our blog.

Two older adults smiling at each other.

Storage Ideas Within the Home

Finding effective storage solutions within your home is essential. With a bit of creativity and planning, you can create a more organized and efficient living space. Here are some household storage ideas that can help you make the most of your available space: 

Utilize Vertical Space

One of the most effective ways to maximize your home’s storage potential is to utilize vertical space. Have someone install shelves that reach up to the ceiling. This will help you store items that are used less frequently, freeing up more accessible areas for everyday necessities. Consider using high shelves for seasonal decorations, extra linens or seldom-used kitchen appliances. This approach not only provides ample storage but also keeps your living areas uncluttered and spacious.

Multi-functional Furniture

Investing in multi-functional furniture is a clever way to combine utility and style, especially in smaller homes. Opt for pieces like ottomans with hidden compartments, beds with built-in drawers underneath or coffee tables that open up to reveal storage space. These types of furniture allow you to keep essential items close at hand while maintaining a clean and organized appearance. Multi-functional furniture is perfect for storing blankets, books, toys or any other items that might otherwise contribute to clutter.

Bed with built-in drawers underneath.

Underutilized Spaces

Make the most of often-overlooked areas in your home for additional storage. Spaces under the bed are ideal for storing off-season clothing, shoes or extra bedding. The backs of doors can be fitted with hooks or racks to hang bags, hats or cleaning supplies. Above kitchen cabinets is another prime spot for storage, where you can place items like cookbooks, rarely used kitchen gadgets or decorative baskets. By creatively using these underutilized spaces, you can significantly increase your home’s storage capacity without sacrificing comfort or aesthetics.

Storage Unit Solutions For Seniors

Renting a storage unit can be a practical and effective way to manage belongings, especially when downsizing. Here are some key tips to maximize the benefits of a storage unit:

  • Seasonal Storage: Utilize a storage unit for items that are only needed during certain times of the year, such as holiday decorations, winter clothing or summer outdoor equipment. This frees up valuable space in your home, allowing for a more organized and clutter-free living environment.
  • Accessibility: When selecting a storage unit, prioritize ease of access. Look for features such as drive-up access, which allows you to park directly in front of your unit for convenient loading and unloading. Additionally, consider facilities with elevators if your unit is located on an upper floor. This ensures that retrieving items is as easy and stress-free as possible. 
  • Label Clearly: To make finding your stored items straightforward and hassle-free, keep everything in clearly labeled boxes. Use large, legible labels that specify the contents of each box. You can also create an inventory list that details where specific items are stored within the unit. This system will save time and effort when you need to locate particular belongings, ensuring a smooth and efficient storage experience.

Wheaton provides storage options and will care for your belongings for as long as you need, whether that’s a month or several years. No matter where you live or where you’re moving to, let us take care of you and your property with the quality services you deserve. Storage services we offer include:

  • Storage-in-transit 
  • Long-term storage
  • Short-term storage

Learn more about what type of storage would be best for your move. 

Get Started With Wheaton’s Full-Service Movers

wheaton silver certified

From storage to packing to delivery, there’s a lot that goes into a move—and Wheaton covers it all. Plus, we understand the unique challenges that come with downsizing for retirement. In fact, many of our agents are Silver Certified, meaning their moving services are endorsed by the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) and that your move is in great hands. When you’re ready to get started with your move, give us a call at 800-248-7962. 

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