Finding the right home can be the key to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life as you grow older, and for most seniors, that includes downsizing to a more manageable property. It’s also a chance to rethink your lifestyle. Here is essential advice for making the transition in a way that encourages a great quality of life throughout your golden years.
The Wisdom of Downsizing
Downsizing is a popular movement for many important reasons, and for seniors, it can make especially good sense. Having a home that is more than you need, or more than you want to tend, can be a drain on your money and energy. As HomeAdvisor explains, “Having fewer financial- and maintenance-related responsibilities will allow you to focus more on your happiness and less on your home,” making downsizing ideal for your golden years. Weigh what your priorities are for your future. Are you ready to spend more time with your grandchildren? Do the golf links call your name? Would you like to be within walking distance of parks, groceries, public transportation, or the farmers market? Now is your chance to reframe your life in a manner that will be satisfying, safe, and fun.
Moving into a smaller home means you will have less space for belongings. Paring down tends to be a time-consuming task, so the sooner you start, the better. Go through your home, area by area, and declutter. Try starting with items you have duplicates of, and keep your favorites or the newest of those particular items. Sort everything into piles of things that you intend to keep, those you will sell or rehome, and items better off recycled or discarded. You can even take the opportunity to start packing the keepers.
Do Some Pruning
Editing furniture can be especially challenging, particularly if you have large, overstuffed selections to contend with, or you aren’t sure what will fit in the new place. Once you decide on a property, one idea is to take measurements of the rooms and make some sketches of how you can lay out the pieces. Move things around so you can find solutions, and bear in mind that you can always sell things that won’t work and use the funds toward new furniture.
Selecting the right property for your golden years can be a challenge, and most seniors want to remain in their homes as they grow older. With that in mind, it’s smart to search for an abode that is conducive to aging in place. A one-story home is ideal. If you don’t want to mess with a lot of modifications, you should search for a house that offers at least one stairless entryway. Ample windows provide good light, an open floor plan eases navigation, and wide hallways and doorways are also ideal in the event you need an assistive device. Some desirable features are simple modifications, such as lever-style handles on doors and faucets, as well as grab bars in bathrooms. As you evaluate properties, you can use a printable aging-in-place design checklist to help you determine how well a home will suit your needs.
Packing and Moving
Boxing up all your belongings and getting them loaded, unloaded, and unpacked is a major undertaking. To streamline your efforts, the Frugal Girls suggests assembling boxes in uniform sizes so they are easier to stack and maneuver. However, be sure not to pack heavy items in large boxes, and save those for bulky but lightweight items, such as bed linens. Think creatively and make use of empty spaces, such as packing your herbs and spices inside of cookery. One recommendation is to hire some help. This could be a professional moving company, though many seniors opt to employ a senior move manager. It alleviates a lot of headaches since they can organize as much or as little of the move as you want.
Finding the perfect place for your golden years is a challenge, but the transition is a healthy choice. Look for a property that will be enjoyable and supportive as you grow older. With smart decision-making, you can find a place that helps you thrive in your golden years.