Life is full of change and transition. And just when we think we have dealt with everything it has to offer, life throws one of its biggest curveballs at us: downsizing. New challenges and requirements come along with our golden years. There are good reasons many of us move into new homes once we reach a certain age!
Downsizing can be one of the most sensible decisions you can make, once the kids have grown and left the house, but it can also be quite a challenge. For one thing, you’ll have to have a suitable replacement home picked out, that accounts for accessibility needs and the reduced income that often comes along with being a senior. You’ll also have the issue of packing up your existing home and figuring out what to do with all the stuff that won’t fit in your new, smaller domicile.
All in all, the process can be a lot to take on. Downsizing into a new home can be trying both mentally and physically, so give yourself plenty of time and have a plan in place.
Give yourself time. Formulate a plan around which you’ll downsize your life — remember, you’re not making a single adjustment. Theoretically, we downsize our entire lives in one way or another when we downsize our house. There’s a lot that you’ll have to take care of and things that will pop up unexpectedly here and there during the process.
Sketch out a rough roadmap of all the things you will have to tackle during the downsizing process. Include anything and everything you can think of, and if you can, speak to some family or friends who have already gone through the same experience. They may be able to provide insight into what you can expect.
Get The Family Involved
Part of the pain that comes with downsizing is saying goodbye to precious items, many of which represent special memories and times. This is where your family can help. Rather than throwing stuff away, figure out which items can become hand-me-downs, and kept in the family for the next generation.
Of course, it’s also important to not get too sentimental. Allow yourself to let go of things that are worth saying goodbye to. If you’re not sure about keeping something, set it aside and reflect on it, and make your decision later. After all, it’s not like the process is over in a single weekend! While helping you decide what to keep or toss, your family can help with the more strenuous or labor-intensive tasks of downsizing.
Keep Accessibility in Mind
One of the more exciting parts of downsizing is picking out a new home. If you’re downsizing, accessibility will likely factor heavily in your upcoming decision.
Take a close look at the bathroom and the kitchen in your potential new home. Carefully assess how much remodeling they’ll need to accommodate you as you age. Remodeling can be a costly endeavor. Bathroom remodels in Nashville typically range between $6,958 and $17,257, and can take from two weeks to a month to complete. Try looking for a home that already boasts the accessibility features you need as it will save you on renovation costs (even a minor kitchen remodel could set you back over $20,000).
Picking The Perfect Place
Moving into the perfect new home for you can be much easier than it seems! Many of us discover that we’ve been dealing with a bit more house than we need, and downsizing often makes the most sense.
Look for a home that will provide you with the safety, comfort, and accessibility you’ll need as you move through your later years. Once you’ve found it, gather the family and put together your plan, and you’ll be enjoying the perfect new home before you know it.
Many thanks to our Guest Blogger, Michael Longsdon, for his contribution to our blog.
Bio: Mr. Longsdon understands the process and challenges associated with helping seniors downsize, and he’s had first-hand experience helping his in-laws downsize and resettle. He created his site (elderfreedom.net) to help others with the process.