Are you a senior who is thinking of moving to a smaller home? You’re not alone. Every year, millions of older adults in America make the decision to downsize their home. Reasons vary from an empty nest to a recent loss to cutting costs. Whatever your reason for downsizing, here are some questions you should ask yourself to make the process feel a little smoother:
What’s Your Reason for Downsizing?
When seniors decide to downsize their home, they usually have a variety of reasons. Some seniors may simply want a change of scenery after the loss of a spouse. For many seniors, however, maintaining a bigger home becomes more difficult as time goes by. If you fall into either one of these categories, then considering a condo or apartment could be a great option for you. When you rent an apartment or smaller home, regular upkeep such as maintenance, lawn care and utilities are included in the price you pay for your home each month. Renting is also a good way to stretch the return you get from your home sale. For example, homes in Fredericksburg, Virginia, have sold for $288,000 recently, and that’s more than enough to cover the costs of renting an apartment.
Where Do You Want to Go?
If you are already thinking of moving to a new home, you may as well take some time to find the perfect location for you. Many seniors choose to live out their retirement years in cities that are warmer with tons of things to do such as Nashville, Phoenix or even San Diego. Some other factors that can influence your decision include nearby relatives, amenities and activities offered, as well as homes available for a specific area.
What Should You Get Rid Of?
For seniors, downsizing doesn’t just involve finding a new home. Smaller quarters means less room to store your belongings. So you may need to spend quite a bit of time going through your possessions and deciding what to keep. Have a relative help you go through each room and storage space in your current home, since this can be an emotional process. If you are moving after the loss of a loved one, sifting through your things can feel more like reliving your memories together. Try to be purposeful about what you choose to keep. You can move photos to digital storage to save space or even make smaller keepsakes out of items like clothing. Remember, moving should make your life simpler and decluttering is a major step in making that happen.
How Can You Make Your Move Easier?
The way you choose to move should depend on your health, budget and time constraints. If you have some funds to spare, you may want to consider hiring movers to help you pack, transport and arrange your belongings in your new home. This is often the best option for seniors who are living with a disability or mobility issues and especially for those who are not close to relatives or friends that can help. If you decide to complete a little packing on your own, make sure you have the right packing supplies to safely and efficiently get the job done.
Once you’ve moved in and set up your new home, know that it may take some time to adjust. Moving after so many years in the same place is a big change, but you can take some steps to help your new place feel like your home sooner.
Whether you are feeling overwhelmed by your home, or simply need a change, downsizing can provide the fresh start you need. By finding a cozier home and streamlining your life, you can make sure the golden years ahead of you are some of your best years yet.
Contributed by Mike Longsdon