Tips and Resources for Easing the Burdens of Senior Downsizing
By Lance McHan May 20, 2020

Downsizing can be challenging for anyone, but the emotional and physical toll involved can be especially difficult for seniors. Not only do you have to sort through belongings and determine what to keep and toss, but you have the logistics of moving to deal with as well. Nonetheless, downsizing can do wonders for making your everyday life safer and less stressful. And with a little planning and organizing, the process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. 

Consider Housing

Where you live in your golden years is a major decision involving a lot of factors. Ultimately, however, you just want to live somewhere that is safe and allows you to thrive. 

  • There are a number of options to consider when it comes to housing in your senior years. To make the right choice, it’s essential to evaluate your current needs and consider your potential needs in the future.  
  • Assisted living and independent living are two popular options for senior housing. And while they share similarities, they also have significant differences
  • Most seniors prefer to age in place, but it’s only a good idea if you think it will positively affect your wellness and longevity.
  • Selling your home and moving to a smaller house is another option; just make sure that your new house has a senior-friendly design.
  • If you do end up needing to sell your home, making arrangements for certain improvements to be made can raise the home’s value and help you sell it faster.
  • If you’re downsizing into a smaller home, review local listings online. 

Put Together a Plan

As with most matters, developing a plan can help the downsizing process go much smoother for everyone involved. 

  • Determine whether to hire a professional moving service or enlist the help of friends and family. The typical price range for movers is $619 – $1,699 per project, but keep in mind that they can help relieve a significant amount of stress.   
  • Setting realistic goals, including family members in the process, and taking pictures of your old home are things that can help you have a smooth move. 
  • Evaluating how much space you have will help you to determine what items to bring with you to the new home. 
  • If you decide to go with a moving service, be sure to research and speak with several different companies before you hire someone.

Execute the Plan

Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to make your move happen!

  • While you want to make sure you are productive when sorting through your belongings, it’s OK to take a moment to reminisce over items that have been in your family for years.
  • There are many things you can do to make your decluttering and downsizing experience effective, such as limiting the number of big items that you take with you, renting a self-storage unit for must-keep items, and digitizing photos and other media.  
  • Even though renting a storage unit is an option, it’s important to be strategic about which items you put in storage. 
  • On moving day, be sure that your arrangements with the moving company are confirmed, that you leave the whole day open for supervising the move, and that you take any other essential steps toward a smooth move. 

No, downsizing is not easy. But it doesn’t have to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, either. Consider all your options when it comes to where you will live in your golden years, and come up with a plan for your move. Then, all that’s left is to carry out your plans and begin the next chapter in your life!

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Lance Mchan

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