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A GUIDE for Downsizing for Seniors

For many people, retirement is a time to slow down and make positive changes in your life that allow you to enjoy your golden years. Downsizing your home is a great way to achieve these goals.  Most of us don’t need the same amount of house in our later years that we needed when the kids were still at home. Plus, large homes tend to accumulate clutter– a proven stress trigger.

Declutter Your Life

Downsizing helps cut down on the amount of stuff present in your daily life while also reducing the amount of chores and upkeep you have to put into the place you live. It makes it easier to get around as we age and it looks better too. Of course, throwing stuff out isn’t always easy. Many of us grow emotionally attached to some of the items we collect over the years.

Marie Kondo is an international bestselling author and organizational expert. Her methods teach people to get rid of excess things around the house in order to maintain a clean and tidy home. This normally starts with a huge haul going through each and every room. She advises clients to hold an individual item in their hands and ask themselves a simple question: does this bring me joy? If the answer is “yes,” the client must designate a spot for that thing to go to at any given time. If the answer is “no,” the client simply thanks the item for its service and lets it go either by selling it, donating it, or throwing it away.  

Finding the Right House

Once you go through all your things and get rid of what you don’t actually need, you will look around and see all your extra space. The next step is finding a smaller home you love that will cut down on the amount of maintenance and other expenses such as taxes and utilities. While you may simply want a smaller version of the house you have, don’t forget to weight that option against some of the fun and exciting housing options out there.

● Buy a recreational vehicle (RV) and travel the country.

● Look into tiny houses that allow you to live in remote locations.

● Senior living neighborhoods provide amenities as well as a sense of community.

● A townhouse or apartment puts your right in the action of the city.

● A beach or lake house provide all the healthy benefits of living near water.

The Big Move

If it’s been awhile since your last move, you are lucky. The entire process is tiring and stressful. Utilize these tips to make it easier so you can enjoy downsizing, not resent it.

● You are not in college anymore, so there’s no need to bribe all your buddies with pizza and beer to move boxes. Hire professional movers with insurance who will do the heavy lifting for you. Your back will thank you, trust us.

● The stress of moving getting you down? Take time to indulge in self-care whenever you need it in order to stay well-rested and reduce your chance of illness while going through the process.

● If you have a dog or dogs, you want them to be prepared for the move. Have their beds or areas set up at the new place, ready and waiting for them. Board your dog on the day that you plan to move. You don’t want movers tripping over them or worse, having them dart out an open door.

Downsizing is popular among seniors as a way to cut down on the amount of work and money they have to put in at home. The first step is getting rid of all the clutter to figure out how much space you really need. Next, consider all your housing options to plan your best retirement. Finally, make sure the move goes smoothly by hiring professional movers, taking care of yourself, and making sure your four-legged family members are prepared.

Image via Pixabay