Perhaps you’ve reached a point in your life when downsizing your home and reducing clutter has become a top priority. If that’s the case – good for you! If you’re a senior citizen, you may be moving from the home you’ve raised your children in, which means you likely have a lot of emotional and physical ties. However, downsizing can not only save you thousands on home payments (freeing up money for the activities and travel you’ve always dreamed of) but it can also lead to less maintenance stress and more social opportunities. This is why we’ve compiled some tips to help you make the most of your golden years move!
Benefits of Moving to a Smaller HomeWhile the idea of moving from your home may seem overwhelming or even deeply emotional, there are a ton of rewarding aspects to consider as well, including:
- Money saved on upkeep and maintenance
- Access to a more accommodating floor plan
- New social opportunities
- Less clutter to navigate
Tips for a Smooth Senior MoveMoving is always a big job, but it can be even more complicated in your older years. Whether you are moving yourself or looking to move an aging parent, we’ve put together some helpful tips to make the transition as seamless as possible.
- Recognize when it’s the right time to downsize. The age-old adage that life speeds up the older you get can make it even more difficult to determine when it’s time to downsize your home. One minute your house seems too small, and then your kids leave for college and begin careers of their own, and suddenly the thought of walking from one end of the house to the other feels exhausting. The realities of owning a large home during your senior years can be overwhelming, but if you find yourself needing to stretch your budget to keep up with a house full of vacant rooms, or it’s become difficult to navigate stairs or bathroom amenities, it’s a good time to consider a comfortable downsize.
- Sort through belongings. Perhaps the most daunting task after making the decision to downsize is sorting through years’ worth of stuff. Maybe you have rooms (and an attic) full of old clothes, books, toys, and appliances that need to be dealt with. One thing is clear: You can’t bring everything with you. Sorting through your possessions in order to decide what stays and what goes is not only a critical first step in downsizing, but it can also be quite cathartic if you allow it to be. Consider having fun with the process, and invite friends and family over to help. One helpful method could be to separate items into one of four categories: keep, sell/give away, storage, and trash. You could even arrange to have an estate sale or sell items online and win back some money for your hard work!
- Pack your remaining possessions for the move. Apart from sorting through mountains of accumulated “stuff,” this can be the second most time-consuming task when it comes to downsizing. Fortunately, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. There are highly trained professionals who will do the heavy lifting for you, and you’ll never have to lift a finger. Further, when you choose to work with Black Tie Moving, you’ll always be given the VIP treatment, no matter your age.
- Plan for a safe and efficient moving day. When the big day rolls around, you can only prepare so much for the emotions you may experience when saying good-bye to a house full of fond memories. However, you can ensure that your move is completed safely and efficiently by planning ahead. Remember: This is the prequel to an exciting new chapter in your life – it’s best that you don’t begin it with unnecessary aches and pains. Know your limits and don’t push yourself too far throughout the day. Plan to take breaks, never lift boxes or items over 50 lbs., drink plenty of water, and snack often.
- Know that it’s okay to be emotional. While you are surely excited about this new chapter in your life, it’s completely healthy and understandable to feel a bit of grief for your old home and the memories you and your loved ones created there. Many homeowners get so caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities of the moving process that they forget to allow themselves emotional closure as well.Here are a few things you can do to say a proper good-bye to your old house:
- Throw a house cooling party. Yes, this is the exact opposite of a housewarming party. Many homeowners find it beneficial to throw one last get-together before moving on to a new home. You can encourage guests to share their fondest memories from your home (or better yet, have them write them down so you can refer back to them whenever you feel the need).
- Write a letter to the new owners. This is another great way to get closure, while also providing a thoughtful gift to the future owners of your old home.
- Take photographs. This may seem like a no-brainer, but photographs can be stored and looked back at easily whenever you want to remember a detail about your old home you’ve forgotten or just want to revisit memories. Consider taking photos from the point of view of your favorite places in the home (e.g., looking out the kitchen window, the view from the top of the stairs, etc.) for a creative way to reminisce.
- Get settled into your new home. Make time to relax and unwind in your new home. Plan a housewarming party if you feel like it! Get familiar with the new noises, meet the neighbors, and take a well-deserved break! You have just accomplished a huge feat – now you can enjoy all of the exciting things waiting for you in this new phase of life (without the burden of costs, maintenance, etc. of a home too large to maintain).
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