Downsizing secrets for seniors
Whether you are choosing to live simpler in less space for a low-maintenance lifestyle, or a life event has necessitated the move, downsizing for seniors can be a huge task. To make the task easier, we’ve come up with a list of things you’ll need to do before the big move. First, we’ll lay out the reasons for downsizing, then what you need to do to make sure that everything goes according to plan.
Knowing when to downsize
While most homeowners don’t intend to downsize their homes when they buy, most come to the realization as they enter their senior years that a large home may be more trouble than they can handle. While it’s not always easy to know when to downsize, here are a few signs that the time may have come consider the change:
- Having to stretch the budget to cover home ownership expenses
- When housekeeping and maintenance becomes overwhelming
- Empty rooms
- Needing a different layout, e.g. everything on one level because using stairs has become more difficult
If you begin to notice any of these signs, then downsizing might be the best option for you.
Sorting through belongings
When you’ve seen the value in downsizing, it’s time to go through your possessions and decide which ones you’ll take with you and which ones you won’t. To start sorting out your things, a good strategy is to sort everything into one of four categories: store, keep, sell/give, and trash. Start small, in one area of the house first, then go through each item and decide what fits into which category.
Downsizing secrets for packing up
This isn’t an easy task, so be sure to plan this well. You also need to ensure that you have enough time to do this job properly, especially since packing is physically demanding. While we may not want to admit it, we need to accept that we aren’t as young as we used to be, so be sure to do this job carefully and to avoid getting injured while doing so. Ask for help from friends and family members if it’s more of a physical task than you’re up for.
DIY or hiring movers?
Once you’ve downsized your belongings and have done your packing, you’ll have to decide on something very important — are you going to tackle the actual move yourself, or will you have someone else do it for you? Of course, there are pros and cons to both methods, but consider your needs and preferences to determine which will work best for you. For older adults, the expense of professional movers is usually well worth it.
Settling into your new home
- Meet your neighbors: Establish a social connection early to help you feel at home in the area.
- Unpack logically: Starting with the items you need right away and then unpack little by little until you’re fully settled in.
- Get to know your community: Take advantage of the social events within the senior living community or attend social gatherings to learn more about the new area.
Downsizing and moving aren’t easy for anyone, but by following the guide above, we hope that you’re able to make a smooth and easy transition from your old home to your new one. Don’t forget that moving is only the beginning; what comes afterward could be the best years of your life. Start your search for a great senior living community today by visiting our Independent Living page.