For many, downsizing is an opportunity to cut the fat out of life and focus on the things that matter. Without expensive utilities, overbearing clutter, and endless household chores bogging your down. This will provide you more time to pursue your hobbies and try new things! But downsizing is a tricky process that doesn’t always go as planned. Here are some practical steps to ensure your downsizing move is successful.
Consider Your Housing Options
Before you buy a new home, think about your other senior housing options. For example, you may consider moving into an age-restricted community where homes are designed with accessibility and safety in mind. These communities are ideal for retirees who want a low-maintenance lifestyle but don’t require care. Similarly, independent living communities can be great for people who want access to communal activities, fitness programs, offsite transportation, and assistance with household chores.
Assisted living is another attractive option for seniors who want to remain independent but require a little more care. Assisted living facilities are set up to help seniors with various daily living tasks like bathing, dressing, taking medication, and preparing meals. Not all of these facilities are made equal, so it’s important to tour different places until you find one that will fit you the best. Consider factors like location, size, services, culture, and cost as you weigh your options.
A Study published by Citystash found, that older folks who had moved as part of a retirement plan were happier than those who stayed put.
Find the Perfect Home
If you decide that aging in place is right for you, look for a home that will accommodate your changing health and lifestyle needs over time. The Baltimore Sun recommends seeking out a universal design home, or a home that will be safe and comfortable as you progress into your senior years. Look for single-floor homes with wide doorways, easy-to-reach light switches and outlets, multi-level kitchen counters, and zero-step entrances.
Pick a Location
Location is a big part of downsizing. Depending on where you move to, downsizing can help you to reduce the costs of maintaining a larger property. Consider your new property taxes, home insurance, utility fees, and/or condo fees, as well as the price of food, gas, and other necessities. Also, think about your lifestyle. If you enjoy being active, choose a location that’s safe, inviting, and convenient for walking. Avoid neighborhoods with a lot of traffic, dimly lit paths, or sidewalks in disrepair.
Select Possessions to Part With
When you’ve finally picked out the perfect place to move, it’s time to downsize your possessions. Before you start decluttering, Business Insider recommends taking pictures of your home. These photos can serve as mementos of your home, but they can also help you identify the possessions that you really love. Start decluttering the stuff that you use a lot and leave the sentimental items for last. The laundry room or pantry is a good place to begin. Try to avoid guessing at how much space you have. Use the dimensions of your new home to calculate exactly which of your possessions will fit.
Make a Moving Plan
Just when you think you’re done with downsizing, you have to face the moving process. Start planning months in advance so you have plenty of time to check everything off your moving list without getting overwhelmed. You’ll need to shop around for a moving company, switch over your utilities, and update your address with the post office and for government services and various subscriptions. A couple of weeks before your move, start organizing your possessions into categorized boxes for effortless unpacking. Remember to pack an essentials box, so you have everything you need on day one at your new place! When it comes to moving, you can never be over prepared.
Seniors who made short-distance moves, staying near family and friends, were the happiest of all. – CityStash
While downsizing is all about scaling down your life, it is a big change. It can be stressful, sad, and even a little scary. Take a deep breath and go slow. A strategic and methodological downsizing process will take some of the stress out of your move, so you can start getting excited about your new, simpler life!
Michael Longsdon is a senior writer for Elderfreedom.com
Please visit Keith Jackson Licensed Real Estate Broker of the Eureka Team for more information about downsizing or purchasing real estate!