Downsizing to a smaller home is a big undertaking, but for many seniors, it’s absolutely necessary. Not only can a downsize help save money every month when it comes to utility bills, cleaning and upkeep, it can help prevent falls and injuries by providing a smaller space to move around in. If you or your spouse/partner have health or mobility issues, it may be time to think about making a move to a smaller space.
One of the keys to downsizing is staying organized and making sure you have a good plan for the move. This is because it will be impossible to take everything from your current home with you, especially if you have a large house or have lived there for many years. Over time, we tend to accumulate a lot of belongings, and it may take some time for you to go through everything and sort it. As a general rule, items that haven’t been used in a year or longer can be donated, sold or thrown out.
Downsizing also requires careful planning when it’s time to make a move, since you’ll need to be strategic about where you place furniture and other large items. For this reason, it can be helpful to take photos of your new home’s interior so you’ll have a reference point.
Keep reading for tips on how to downsize with as little stress and anxiety as possible.
DOWNSIZING TO FIND THE RIGHT HOME FOR YOUR NEEDS
The right home for your needs will be different than someone else’s idea of perfect, because you may need something with modifications that have already been done, or you might want a smaller yard to take care of due to mobility issues. You will need a trusted REALTOR® to help you make the transition from your larger home to one that meets your needs now. Look online at the homes in your area to get a feel of what’s available and the average price. Consider whether you require modifications such as an updated bathroom with grab bars for safety or a ramp over the front steps. If you feel you might need financial assistance with modifications, read on here.
THINK ABOUT YOUR PETS
If you have pets and will be bringing them with you to the new home, think about their safety and comfort on moving day. You might consider boarding your dog while all the packing and moving is taking place, especially if he gets anxious when change takes place. Knowing that he’s safe and happy will take one more worry off your mind while you’re trying to focus on the momentous task ahead of you.
FIGURE OUT WHAT TO TAKE
Since you can’t take everything with you to the new place, it’s important to go through your belongings and sort them into piles: take, throw away, donate and sell. This process may take several days, especially if you have a large home, so give yourself plenty of time, and ask for help from friends or family members. Don’t feel you have to part with sentimental items. Instead, look for a different way to keep them. For instance, you might condense your photo albums into scanned individual pictures that can be placed on your computer’s hard drive and store the physical items safely rather than keeping them out on a shelf.
Downsizing can be an emotional process, so it’s a good idea to ask for support from your loved ones. Many seniors make the decision to move after losing a loved one, so it’s especially important to take care of yourself in this process to prevent stress, sadness and depression. With a solid plan and a little help, you can make the move a success.