When It’s Time to Move On: Downsizing Tips for Seniors

If you are a senior with an empty nest and too much space, you may be thinking it’s time for a change. Though it can be hard to move out of a home where many memories have been made, keeping up with a place that’s too big can add unnecessary stress to your life. Instead, consider downsizing into the right home for your golden years. With a few simple steps, you can land the perfect home for your next chapter and have a smooth moving process.

Research Your Options

With the proper research, finding the right home can be stress-free. You can begin by utilizing online resources to get a feel for prices of homes that are the right size and in the perfect location for you. For instance, if you were to conduct a search for Marysville on real estate sites, you would discover that homes in that area have sold on average for $373,000 within the last month. After you have narrowed down your search to particular geographic areas, take a couple days to stay in the area. That way, you can discover if you would actually enjoy living there and that the necessities are within a reasonable proximity. A little research can result in the perfect home and some extra cash in your pocket from the sale of your current home.

Decide What Items Will Go With You

Once you have located the right home, it’s time to sift through your belongings and determine what will be going with you. One of the perks of downsizing is that it’s less hassle when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. But with that comes less storage space. If you categorize your belongings into what you cannot live without, what you can live without and what you can replace, it will become clear what needs to be packed, sold, given away or tossed. As you pack, keep in mind that a cluttered home will feel small, can be dangerous and defeats the purpose of downsizing.

For any items that won’t fit into your new home—but that you’re not ready to part with—self-storage is a reasonable and affordable option. Also, it will buy you some time to determine what you want to do with the belongings. You can search online or in the phone book for nearby storage facilities and compare rates for the best deals. For example, the overall price for a self-storage unit booked in the Seattle area, over the past 180 days is $86.97.

Packing Up

Once you determine what belongings you are taking with you, it’s time to begin the packing process. Since most of these items have meaning to you, you’ll want to take extra measures to handle them with care. Purchase sturdy boxes for as low as $1.97 apiece that you can label (to facilitate easy unpacking), line the inside of those boxes with bubble wrap or newspaper before packing, and seal the boxes securely.

Generally speaking, it’s helpful to pack room by room. For instance, you could start in the kitchen by packing dishes, silverware, glasses, and small appliances. After the kitchen is packed, you could pack the dining room tables, chairs and rugs. Then, you could move on to the living room, bedrooms, bathrooms and so on.

Moving out of a home you’ve lived in for years is not easy. But sometimes downsizing is necessary to keep your quality of life where you want it. Remember to research all the potential homes in the area you’re interested in. Categorize your belongings to keep your new home from immediately becoming cluttered and rent out a self-storage unit if you need to. Finally, pack all of your items safely and tackle it room by room.

Photo Credit: Pexels

by Michael Longsdon

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