Making a Smooth Move: Downsizing Tips for Seniors

GUEST BLOG POST WRITTEN BY: Michael Longsdon, Elder Freedom.

After living in your home for years, it’s not unusual to feel a deep sense of sadness knowing that you have to downsize to a smaller home. Your house is filled with beautiful memories, and it’s tough to leave it all behind. But no matter where you decide to move and begin the next chapter of your life, here are some tips to make your moving day as smooth as possible.

Figuring Out What Needs to Go

Living decades in one home leads to a lot of possessions. Furniture, knickknacks, pictures and clothing accumulate over the years until your house is brimming with, well, stuff!

Start by tackling your clutter with the aim of eliminating unnecessary belongings in your life. A good starting point is to measure rooms in your new apartment or home to determine what furniture can be moved to the new place. Check out your new home’s storage capabilities so you won’t have to guess what you can take. Sketch a floor plan of the new home so you have a better idea how much space is available for your furniture.

Once you know how much space your new home offers, walk through each room of your current home. Begin with rooms that aren’t used much such as the basement or attic. Determine what items you can eliminate whether through donating, keeping in a storage unit, throwing away or giving to family and friends. Having trouble making a decision about a particular item? You may wish to consider placing items in storage until you can make up your mind.

Finding the Right Home for Your Golden Years

Hiring an excellent realtor and making a list of must-have features in a home is crucial to locating the right living space. These features are your non-negotiables, things you absolutely must have in order to be happy and comfortable.

Consider the lifestyle you want to pursue. Sick of mowing the lawn and weeding the flower beds? Stick with a low-maintenance condo or townhome. These types of homes require no yard work since a lawn company takes care of it for you. Love to putter around with tools? Hunt for a home with a garage. If you worry about going up and down steps, choose a one-story home. Also make sure to research the area you want to live in. For example, the average sales price over the last month for a home in Del Mar, CA, is $1.41M.

Make It a Smooth Move

Want to make your moving day as smooth as possible? Research online to find professional movers who’ll treat your belongings with care. Ask family and friends to recommend moving companies that fit your budget and offer quality service. Get family and friends to help you with the packing process too. Don’t want to pack? Many moving companies offer packing services in addition to toting boxes and furniture. Hiring professional movers helps you separate yourself from the house being emptied out. It may feel less traumatic if someone else is doing the moving for you.

Whatever you decide, don’t do all the packing in one day. You’ll just end up stressed out. Instead, fill your moving boxes up a little each day. Make sure each box is clearly labeled with the name of a room in your new home. You won’t be charged extra because of moving guys waiting around for you to tell them where each box belongs.

Before the big day, set aside important items like cash, essential medications, your phone charger and important paperwork. Keep them with you so you won’t find yourself frantically searching for them once you arrive at your new home.

Provide snacks and drinks for your moving helpers. It will give them an energy boost and make them feel better about lugging that box of hardcover books out to the moving van in 90 degree weather.

When everything is loaded onto the truck, take a stroll through the house to make sure nothing has been left behind. Look in the basement, your kitchen drawers and the top shelf of your coat closet. You wouldn’t want to leave your favorite jacket behind!

Just because you’re downsizing to a smaller home doesn’t mean you can’t find another house you’ll love almost as much as your larger one. By planning in advance, selecting movers you trust and staying positive, you can start a new chapter of your life where you’ll make new memories in a home that’s just right for your needs.

GUEST BLOG POST WRITTEN BY: Michael Longsdon, Elder Freedom