If you are looking to downsize in retirement, moving to a smaller home may be in your plans. Although the move may seem like a practical thing to do, it probably won’t be the easiest, especially when it comes to the memories you’ve made in a home where you’ve lived for decades.
Additionally, the sentiments attached to belongings you may have to give up when downsizing require you to take pragmatic steps to ensure the move goes smoothly and with the least amount of emotional stress possible.
Make a Convincing Argument
There are a lot of good reasons to downsize in retirement, including the financial benefits. But besides having fewer financial obligations related to home ownership, with a smaller home you’ll spend less money on upkeep, taxes, and utilities. You’ll also have less stress and more time to do the things you like. This change in focus can lead to better physical and emotional health.
Just because you are aiming for a simpler life doesn’t mean you can’t live comfortably or will have to give up your personal style. Families often spend 80 percent of their time in just 20 percent of the space they have, so you may just start using your space more efficiently. In fact, if you follow some common-sense steps, you just may be surprised at how much happier you are in your new home.
Rather than put off packing until the last minute, start going through items as soon as you know for certain that you are moving. Begin by separating, organizing, and getting rid of what you don’t need. And if you are putting your house on the real estate market, it’s a good idea to start sorting through items even before you put your house up for sale.
Ask Your Adult Children to Help
Your children—and perhaps even your grandchildren—may want things that you can’t take with you.
Tackle the most cluttered areas of your home first. People tend to accumulate the most stuff in rooms where household members congregate most often, such as the kitchen, family room, and living room.
Go Through the Contents of Your Home Slowly
Separate the items you definitely want to keep from those you want to sell, give to a family member or friend, or donate. Consider giving items you intend to leave to others now, especially if you won’t have room in your new home or would need to pay for storage somewhere.
Determine what items you really need when packing areas of your home that aren’t part of the main living space. You are sure to find things you don’t use often or don’t use at all in places like the attic, garage, or outdoor storage shed.
Get Rid of Junk
As you clear out and get ready to move, you’ll probably have a lot more to toss out than your normal trash collector will take. Some items you’ll want to discard or recycle. Put items you don’t want but that are still in good condition out for people to take for free.
Don’t Include the Word Maybe in Your Vocabulary
Items you will maybe want to keep are usually those you don’t really need or don’t use often. Decide what to keep without taking time to think the matter over. Remember that your reason for moving is to downsize. Give yourself only two options—either keeping an item or getting rid of it.
You need to be realistic as you downsize—even when it comes to the mountains of keepsakes you’ve kept from your children’s growing-up years. When you downsize, you won’t be able to take every item of sentimental value with you.
Mementos connect you to your past, so why not scrapbook some of your fondest memories? Perhaps your now-adult children will appreciate having a keepsake or two from their pasts to share with their children. When it comes to family photographs, transfer them to a digital frame rather than keeping stacks of photo albums or individual photos in picture frames.
Be Practical With Your Furnishings
Get the floor plan for your new home so you can determine which of your furnishings will fit. You may find that some furniture pieces just won’t fit the new space, and you want to know what your options are sooner rather than later.
Although you should take the furnishings that mean the most to you, you may need to give up some of the largest pieces. Instead, take furnishings you can use for more than one purpose.
Get Help With the Packing
If you hire a professional moving company, a professional packing team can do the job faster than you could. But if you do some of the packing yourself with the aid of younger family members, begin packing by tackling smaller tasks like a dresser or closet first. Complete all the packing for one room before moving on to the next.
Moving is a hard chore, especially if you are getting older. However, if you are considering hiring professional movers, you can count on the fast, reliable, and efficient moving services we offer.