Downsizing Made Easy: Advice for Seniors Moving into a Smaller Home
Downsizing is a wonderful way to simplify your life in retirement. It gives you a chance to move closer to family, save money, and cut down on maintenance. However, leaving the family home is often a complicated and emotional process. Additionally, navigating the housing market and decluttering years of accumulated possessions is nothing short of overwhelming, especially given all of the factors you need to consider when making these decisions. Keep reading to learn how to make your move as simple and successful as possible.
Make a List of Your Desired Features
Before you start your housing search, decide what features you must have and which you can do without. For example, you may want a south-facing balcony, heated floors, or a den. Make sure you consider what you need in order to participate in your favorite hobbies and activities. Think about your long-term needs as well and how your capabilities will alter as you age. Decreased mobility might cause problems with staircases and picking a rural location could lead to isolation in the future if you stop driving. If you plan to age in place, look for accessible one-story homes designed to make life easier for people with mobility problems.
Let a Realtor Help With the Search
Searching for homes online has become very popular, with many homebuyers using the internet to assist with their search, but going online can be confusing, not to mention the information isn’t always correct. The best route is to use a realtor to help you find the perfect housing and location option for you, including advice on insurance and lender information. A realtor can provide you with the same information an internet search would, filtering potential homes by your preferred location, price, and square footage, all while being available to answer any and all questions you might have.
Declutter with a Plan
Once you’ve found the perfect home for your golden years, start going through your possessions as early as possible before your move date. It takes time to make difficult decisions and find the right homes for things you no longer want to keep. Comfort Life recommends marking your calendar with a weekly declutter session so you can tackle various sections of your home without getting burned out. You can even plan out which drawers, rooms, or closets you want to tackle each session. Gentle Giant emphasizes the importance of a floor plan for your future space so you know exactly how much furniture you can fit. Use colored stickers and lists to keep track of where each item will go as you sort.
Find New Homes for Your Items
You have three basic options for getting rid of things you no longer want: donate, sell, or throw away. Donating is a great way to rehome clothing and cheaper household items that are still in good condition; thrift stores, shelters, schools, and non-profit agencies will happily take your gently used items. For more expensive items, consider having a garage sale or listing them for sale on sites like Craigslist and eBay. If you have a lot of furniture, fine art, and antiques, get your belongings appraised so you can set the best price for them when you sell.
Be Well Prepared for Moving Day
Schedule your moving day far in advance, asking for help from friends and family or booking a moving company as soon as possible. Moving companies need to know what kind of equipment and truck size they need to bring, so get an in-person estimate ahead of time. Get smaller, sturdy boxes and cushioning materials to keep your items safe and reduce the chance of injury from heavy lifting. Finally, be sure to pack a special box or suitcase with all the essentials you need for your first day in your new home.
Remember that moving day can be very emotional and overwhelming. After all, you’re leaving a home where you have spent decades creating memories with your family. It’s important not to rush the process. Set aside downtime and take whatever actions you need to say goodbye to your home before settling in for your refreshing new lifestyle.
Article Submitted by Michael Longsdon