Downsizing for Seniors: Tips and Advice for Making the Move
((Guest Post – Downsizing for Seniors: Tips and Advice for Making the Move))
Today’s blog is brought to you from Mike Longsdon, sharing the practical downsizing advice he gleaned while helping his own in-laws move into a more manageable home to suit their health and activity level. Mike is the founder of ElderFreedom.net, “an organization of advocates working for the older adults of our community. It is our mission to help locate resources, events, and engagement opportunities to help enrich the lives of seniors.” Let’s get right in.
Downsizing is a big decision, but for many seniors, it’s an inescapable reality. While you may not want to relocate after retirement, it can be the best move in order to stay safe and mobile, and it can be much more cost-effective post-retirement. The key is to prepare well, because a good plan will help to make the move go smoothly. Whether you’re looking for a one-story home for ease of mobility or just a smaller place that will be easier to take care of, it’s important to figure out what your needs are right away.
It’s also a good idea to go ahead and start decluttering and organizing your home. Even if you keep things pretty neat, you likely have an attic, crawl space, basement, or spare bedroom full of memories and items that don’t get used anymore. Take a look at these to see what you’ll want to bring to the new house and what can be sold, thrown away, or donated.
Keep reading for some more great tips on downsizing painlessly.
Getting organized now will make packing and moving so much easier. Ask a close friend or family member to help you go through each room so you can get a handle on everything that needs to be done. Aside from throwing away, selling, and donating items, you can also think about what could be given to family members. It can be hard to get rid of personal mementos, but ask yourself what you really need and what you can do without. Living in a smaller space means you have to make some tough decisions, so ask for support during this time from your loved ones.
Look for Modification Potential
It can be hard to find the perfect home for all your needs, but if you can find one that has modification potential, it’s possible to make some changes that will benefit your health and safety. These might include adding grab bars in the bathroom or lowering the countertops in the kitchen so they can be reached from a wheelchair. The average price to remodel a kitchen ranges from $11,523 to $26,115, with a timeline of three to four weeks.
Get Your Paperwork Together
With any move comes a lot of paperwork, so make sure you keep everything together so nothing gets lost or overlooked. It’s a good idea to put everything related to the new home or the move in a binder or accordion folder where it will be secure. This includes documents shared between you and the bank or lender, paperwork for changing your address, and to-do lists.
Make a Box for the First Night
Packing a box for your first night in the new home will help you stay organized and comfortable. It should hold any medications you’ll need, toiletries, bedding, phone charger, pajamas, and a change of clothing for the next day. Pack a separate box full of cleaning supplies, trash bags, items for your pets, and anything else you might need to get your home ready to sleep in.
Visit Your New Place Before the Move
It’s important to visit your new home before the move, if possible, so you can get familiar with the layout and plan where you’re going to put furniture. This will also help you decide what to get rid of before the move. You can also learn when trash day is, get to know the neighbors, and get familiar with the neighborhood.
Downsizing can seem daunting and moving can be stressful, so make sure you take care of yourself during this time. Remember to eat and stay hydrated on moving day, and set reminders on your phone if you need to take medication during all the activity. Talk to your friends and family members about what you need to stay comfortable, and take lots of breaks during the move so you won’t become overwhelmed. With a good plan, you can make your moving day a success and by downsizing, make your life more comfortable.