Downsizing In Retirement: 4 Ways To Simplify The Process

Downsizing is a normal part of the aging process for many adults. Empty nesters find themselves in homes that are just too big for their needs, require too much maintenance, and may be dangerous for seniors. Before moving on to a smaller home or retirement facility, though, owners need to prepare their property. The following simple steps can help get your home ready for the market and prepare you for a successful transition.

Make A Plan

Ideally, downsizing your home should be a long process – not in the sense that it should take a long time, but rather because every time you donate a bag of clothing or offload some old dishes onto your children, you’re preparing your space. But what if you haven’t taken steps to reduce the amount of stuff in your space? That’s okay, too, but it means that it’s time for you to make a plan. Don’t just dive in and start throwing things out and giving things away.

Instead of cleaning first and then realizing that you got rid of things you care about, make a list of what you want to keep, and be sure to consider how much space you’ll have. Remember, you can’t take everything with you, both because it’s impractical and because you just won’t have the room in your new, smaller home.

Make Necessary Repairs

If you’ve been in your home for a long time, it likely has signs of wear and tear that won’t appeal to a buyer. This is a good time to hire someone to make necessary repairs. Fixing up major flaws and generally making things look nicer by applying a fresh coat of paint can make your property more attractive to buyers, whether you plan to list your home with a realtor or sell it directly to a cash home buyer.

Ask For Help

Did you know that there’s an entire industry dedicated to helping seniors downsize? Known as senior move managers, these specialists understand both the physical and emotional complexity of this process. Having a senior move manager on the case can offer valuable support that adult children typically can’t, and they intimately understand what’s involved in transitioning senior adults into new, smaller homes. Senior move managers are also hooked into the larger moving industry and connect you with movers, repair professionals, realtors, and other services. Let yourself lean on their expertise.

Recognize The Emotional Challenges

While a huge part of downsizing is logistical – choosing a new place to live, donating and throwing away possessions, and cleaning and packing – there’s also a significant emotional element. In particular, many seniors struggle with the fact that their children and grandchildren don’t want items that they’ve saved and treasured. Maybe they don’t have room or they don’t see the importance, but whatever the reason, a lot of supposed family heirlooms wind up in thrift stores. 

Senior move managers are experts at managing these emotional challenges and can help you select sentimental objects to keep, process what to let go of, and accept that different generations have different values. This is also why children and grandchildren may not be in the best position to help manage the downsizing process; their responses may compound these feelings.

The good thing about downsizing is that, when all is said and done, you get to settle into your new home, one that’s right for this new phase of life. It can take some time to adjust, but this is your chance to embrace what’s next.

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