How to Make a Smooth Transition
Downsizing can often mean independence for seniors after retirement, as it can give them a chance to stay in their own homes without fear of injury. It also means having a lot less to take care of, from total square footage around the home to the yard space. The physical act of downsizing, however, can be difficult in many ways. Moving takes a bit of cash, and the timing needs to be right in order to ensure the sale of the old house coincides with closing on the new home. It can also be hard to leave behind all the memories made or to go through belongings and memorabilia that bring up hard-to-face memories of a loved one who has passed.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways you can make downsizing go smoothly. From planning well in the early stages to asking for help from friends and loved ones, you can make moving into a smaller home a breeze. The key is to get organized from the start so there will be no confusion and so that safety is always a factor.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to downsize to a new home.
Do Some Research
As with any major process, you’ll want to be well informed before making any decisions. This means looking online at the homes in your area to figure out which ones will meet your needs and what the price ranges are. This can save you a lot of time and footwork with a realtor and will give you a leg up on searching for a house that meets all of your needs.
Decide What Your Needs Are
It’s important to think not only about what your needs are now, but what they will be in the future. You may face health or mobility issues five or 10 years down the road that require your home to be easily accessible, which means you’ll want to include features such as a step-in shower, wider doorways, grab bars and easy-to-grasp handles on doors and cabinets instead of knobs. Some of the more simple modifications can be done after you move in without breaking the bank, but larger jobs -- such as updated bathtubs and opened-up kitchen space -- will need a contractor and be much more costly, so they’ll need to be rolled into your budget.
Packing for a move can be a really big job, especially if you’ve lived in your current home for many years. This means you’ll need to plan for several days of packing up, and be sure to ask for help from friends and family members. During the first day, it’s a good idea to simply go through your home and pull the things that you know you either don’t want anymore or won’t have room for in the new house. If possible, look at photos of the interior of your new place to get an idea of where you can place big items, such as furniture. Once you’ve done that, start going through items that hold a lot of sentimental value and determine how best to keep them safe. Many seniors give away a few of these items by passing them down to a family member, but you can also condense them; for instance, if you have a lot of photo albums, scan the pictures individually and upload them to a thumb drive or hard drive.
Downsizing takes a lot of work, but with a good plan and help from your loved ones, you can ensure that it’s a smooth transition. Remember to take care of yourself during this time and take plenty of breaks during the move to ensure that your health and safety are a priority.
Article Submitted (2019) By:
Janet Campbell is the writer of this article and creator of ElderSpark. Her mission is to encourage people of all ages to live their healthiest and happiest lives ever. She strives to provide information on senior wellness and safety as well as ideas for how to make the most of this beautiful chapter of our lives.