Simple Downsizing Tips for Seniors

Simple Downsizing Tips for Seniors

As you get older, you may find that you no longer wish to spend hours out of your week taking care of your home.  It’s true that the basic processes of cleaning, organizing, and maintaining your home require a large time investment, and in retirement, you shouldn’t have to spend much time dealing with these hassles.  This is why an increasing number of seniors are choosing to downsize after retirement.  However, the decision to downsize brings with it a number of different challenges, including downsizing your possessions, packing your things, and handling moving day.  Here are some tips that will help you as you prepare to move.


Reduce stress by creating a moving checklist


Preparation is key when you’re moving at any age, but it becomes even more important after retirement.  In order to avoid experiencing excessive amounts of stress and to prevent you from injuring yourself, it is best to put together and abide by a moving checklist.  Begin by outlining your needs.  For instance, how small of a house would you like?  Will you need room for family to stay when they visit, or will you be close to your family already?  Be sure you know what the average home prices in your new destination will be, whether you’re renting or buying.  Don’t forget to take into account the climate of your new town if you plan to move far from your current home.  Before you even begin to look for a house, let your family members know that you plan to move.  That way, they will be alerted and can make themselves available to help you downsize.  They may also be able to help you deal with the extensive packing process.


Enlist help when sorting through your belongings


Packing for a smaller home is difficult because there will usually not be enough room for all of your possessions.  In general, sorting through your things can be a time-consuming task, which is why it may be helpful to enlist the assistance of your family members or even a professional organizer.  It may be tempting to keep everything you come across, but resist the temptation.  Try to divide your belongings into piles of what you definitely will keep, what you want to give to other family members or friends, what can be donated to charity, and what must be simply thrown away.  Keep in mind, though, that you don’t necessarily have to part with your things permanently.  If, after going through your entire house, you find that your pile of things to keep is still too large for your intended living space, you may want to consider renting a self-storage unit.  Self-storage units are great for when you have a lot of furniture or family memorabilia that you intend to use at some point. 


Remain calm on moving day


Finally, you’ll need to prepare for the stress of moving day.  Acquire a good deal of boxes beforehand so you don’t run out halfway through the packing process.  Also, clearly label your boxes – in particular, make it obvious which boxes have breakable items to keep your glasses, dishes, and other breakables safe.  By planning out which rooms you’ll pack first, you’ll help to reduce stress.  Another way you can make moving day less chaotic is by sequestering your dog.  Dogs respond to stress just like humans do, and the chaos of moving can make them act out.  If you can, keep your dog in another room to protect them from hurting themselves or getting loose.  If no rooms are available, you may want to invest in a quality dog crate to keep them comfortable.


The moving process requires that you juggle many different tasks at once.  However, by starting a checklist months in advance and sticking to your plan, you can help defuse even the most chaotic situations and get closer to the time when you’ll move into your new home.


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Bryan Fultz

Bryan Fultz