As we get older, our physical abilities change. You may find yourself getting tired more easily
after exercise, and certain skills like balance and coordination require greater effort. As a
result, this makes everyday tasks a challenge for many seniors. Mowing the lawn or
mopping floors, for instance, can become difficult and taxing.
For this reason, many seniors decide to downsize to a smaller and more affordable living
space. As HomeAdvisor points out, “Having fewer financial- and maintenance-related
responsibilities will allow you to focus more on your happiness and less on your home.” Find
out how to go about downsizing below.
Find the Perfect Nest
Before you can leave your old house behind, you have to find a new nest to call home.
Fortunately, you have many options available. You could consider an assisted living facility
or, if you require more hands-on support, a nursing home; the latter will have staff to help
with tasks such as bathing and medication management.
You can also simply look for a smaller home. The overhead costs will be lower, and less
upkeep will be needed. When assessing potential properties, consider what space is most
valuable to you. Research shows that Americans spend the majority of their waking hours
either in the kitchen or the living room. So, if you love to cook, take this into account.
Your home may require senior-friendly renovations for your comfort and safety. These costs
need to be factored in. For instance, you might add handrails: According to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, falls cause harm to millions of people over 65 every year.
The National Aging in Place Council suggests several ways to help prevent the risk of falling,
such as creating step-free thresholds and installing a raised toilet.
Downsize Before Moving
As your new space will be smaller, trim down your belongings before you move. Go through
your house one room at a time; don’t move on to the next room until you’ve finished one.
This ensures you don’t end up living in chaos with stuff strewn everywhere.
As you sort through your things, create three categories: take, trash, and donate or sell. You
can use colored Post-Its to sort items easily. If you aren’t sure about how to categorize an
item, A Cultivated Nest offers several practical tips, such as only selling big-ticket items
since this takes time and effort and never donating broken goods.
If you have items that you don’t want to get rid of but can’t take to your new home, consider
putting them in storage. They will be safe and protected, and you can access them at any
time. You can also come back to these items in one year and consider whether you still need
to keep them. Use websites such as Storage.com to find a unit near you.
Make a Smooth Transition
For the actual move, pack one bag with things you will need immediately in your new home.
Your bag could include items like pajamas, medications, and personal hygiene products.
This way, you won’t be left searching through all your boxes for must-have items on your first
night. Moving.com offers even more useful tips, such as using a junk removal service and
finding a doctor near your new home ahead of time.
It can take time to settle into your new space, so remember to be patient. These tips and
tricks from Good Housekeeping can help you feel at ease sooner: They advise recreating
familiar sights and sounds, whether it’s a favorite throw pillow or a grandfather clock, and
focusing on making a cozy sleeping space as soon as possible.
By following these guidelines, your move should go smoothly. As you settle into your new
home, whether it’s an assisted living facility or a private house, focus on the positives. A
smaller space doesn’t have to mean a less full life — just the opposite. You now have more
time and money to spend enjoying friends, family, and life.