Downsizing Mistakes Seniors Should Avoid

Real Estate

Downsizing Mistakes Seniors Should Avoid for a Smooth Transition


Downsizing sounds simple enough, right? Seniors and retirees everywhere are doing it without a fuss, so you might expect it to be a process that will go as smoothly and painlessly as possible. While it’s true that downsizing isn’t some ultra-complex process, there are several mistakes you should avoid so that your efforts don’t get derailed.


Don’t Put It Off


You qualify for Medicare at age 65, but downsizing doesn’t have an age minimum. In fact, the earlier you do it, the better able you are to manage and deal with the move, both physically and emotionally. Don’t wait until the stairs become a serious hazard or the kids move out and get all their ducks in a row before you start lining up yours.


Decide If It’s the Next Step


No matter what age you are when you think about downsizing, you need to determine if this is the safest step. If you need more help than living alone provides, downsizing to assisted living might be a good idea. Assisted living enables you to maintain your independence while also offering assistance with daily living. Keep in mind that there are many different facilities, so you’ll need to start touring to find one that fits your needs and expectations in your area. While price shouldn’t be the deciding factor, you’ll want to keep it in mind as the average monthly cost for facilities in St. Petersburg average around $1,500 to $11,430 depending on several factors including whether you opt for a private or shared room.


Packing Requires a Plan


When you’re packing up your home to move, it’s a lot more involved than simply throwing everything into a box. Approaching it with a packing plan means less stress and more organization, not to mention it will make unpacking easier at your new home. Go room by room and label each box with the room it goes in and its basic contents. Have a family member or friend help if bending and lifting is too difficult, and hire reputable movers in St. Petersburg movers to get your stuff from point A to point B.


Pare Down Your Stuff


Downsizing your home requires that you downsize your stuff so that your new home isn’t packed to the gills. Take some measurements in your new home and decide what large pieces can fit, as well as which ones come with it such as washer/dryer or refrigerator. Next tackle the smaller stuff, sorting everything into a keep, give away, donation, and trash pile. Be prepared for emotions to pop up, as you are ultimately closing a chapter and starting a new one. You’ll be excited to learn that most seniors are happy that they made the decision to downsize once it’s all said and done. If you’re struggling to let go, consider gifting keepsakes or creating a photo album to house the memories in a smaller space.


Be Picky with Your Real Estate Agent


If you’re moving from the home you set up roots in, chances are it’s been a while since you’ve gone through the moving process. Things change through the years and real estate is no different. It’s a confusing world, but a real estate agent can help. You need to meet with and conduct an interview with potential candidates before making a decision. Ask about past experiences with downsizing seniors, average list-price-to-sales-price ratio, what sets them apart from competitors, specific examples of how they can help you, charges/fees, and guarantees. Don’t forget to ask for a list of references too.


Downsizing can be a little overwhelming at times, but it’s not as hard as you think. By avoiding common mistakes, you can avoid unnecessary stress. This leaves you to focus on the task before you and get settled into your new (smaller) home.


Submitted by Shirley Martin