By Guest Author Mike Longsdon
Are you a senior who is looking to simplify your life? Whether you’re getting ready for retirement or adjusting to an empty nest, downsizing can save you a lot of time, money and stress. A smaller home means less to maintain and a chance for a fresh start — two things that a lot of older adults need. Wondering where to begin with your new adventure? These handy tips can help you out.
Deciding What You Want
If you’re thinking of downsizing to a new, smaller home, you have a chance to make some major changes in your life. Before you even start looking for houses, think about what you want out of the next few years. Maybe you’d like to travel and see the country? Or, you might want to move closer to kids and grandkids. Take some time to map out your future, so that you can factor your dreams into finding your new, perfect home.
Finding Your Golden Years’ Retreat
Once you have your roadmap for the future, it’s time to get busy looking for houses. Take your lifestyle and needs into consideration as you view neighborhoods and properties. If you’re not fond of driving, look for a home near public transportation or in a walkable area. Love to garden? You’ll want to look for a yard or at least a patio. Think about accessibility for anyone living or spending a good amount of time at your new home. Make a list of the features you need and want, and work with a realtor to find something that suits you perfectly.
Budgeting for Your Best Life
Any major life decision requires financial planning. If you’ve charted your retirement, you’re already a few steps ahead. Take your annual income into consideration when budgeting for your new home. You may also want to leave some room for upgrades and accessibility modifications, in case you need them to make a home fit you. Most people focus on updating the bathrooms and kitchens first, so focus on these two rooms. The average price to remodel a bathroom in Thousand Oaks, CA, ranges from $12,730 to $19,000, so keep this in mind when deciding on an offer for the home you like.
Sorting Through Your Stuff
When you’ve found your perfect home, you’ll know just how much of your old life you can bring with you. The main point of downsizing is to make life easier, so use this as an opportunity to get rid of clutter that will just drag you down. Try not to get overly emotional about every item you own. Carefully comb through your belongings and part ways with items that are no longer practical or getting any use. Have a yard sale to make a little profit off of your purge, or take your haul to a local thrift store or charity.
Making Your Move
Decluttering can make packing and moving a little easier. Still, it’s wise to get help when it comes to moving your things. Consider hiring movers to lift those heavy boxes and move furniture for you. Professional moving companies can be especially helpful if you have mobility issues or are living with a disability. The pros can also provide essential moving equipment, like hand trucks and furniture pads, which will save you the hassle of borrowing or renting them yourself.
Settling Into Your New Life
Adjusting to change can take some time. If you don’t feel comfortable right away give yourself some time, especially if you moved to a new city. Try to get out and meet your neighbors when you arrive. Take your time unpacking and arranging your home, and leave some time to relax at the end of each day. You’ve earned the right to enjoy your time and spend it doing the things that you love. So, pick up that hobby you always wanted to try or spend more time with loved ones.
Relocating can be a welcome retreat for seniors. With a smaller home you can save the time, money and stress that it takes to maintain a larger space. So take the time to downsize your life and start living out your happiest years yet!