A Beginner’s Guide to Stress-free Downsizing for Seniors
After years of work, parenting, and responsibilities, it’s time to reap the benefits of your hard work. Your golden years should be a period of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Taking full advantage of your retirement years may require a bit of downsizing. The need to downsize is particularly pertinent if you are planning to move to a new home. If this sounds stressful, not to worry! There are several ways to make the decluttering and moving process stress-free.
Before packing, it is necessary to pare down your belongings. Over the years, it is common for people to accumulate miscellaneous items and paperwork. If tackling your whole home at once seems overwhelming, try decluttering one space at a time. This space can be a room, a closet, or even a drawer. Divide your items into a few piles – keep, donate, and garbage. If you are finding it difficult to determine what you should keep, think about how often you use a particular item. This method is particularly useful when sorting through clothing. If you haven’t worn an article of clothing in the past calendar year, consider donating it. If you are still apprehensive, think about the extent to which a particular object improves your life. If an old, never-worn shirt does not contribute to your happiness, why keep it? When deciding where to donate unwanted items, consider giving them to friends, family, or a local non-profit, or think about having a yard sale.
Sorting Significant Items
While it can be relatively easy to get rid of random and generic items, it can be more difficult to get rid of items that hold personal significance. For example, you may be more inclined to keep a figurine set if it belonged to your grandmother. With that being said, too many sentimental items can crowd your home and your life. If you are unsure about keeping a certain item, consider some options for preserving the memory of it while getting rid of the actual item. Scanning photos and important paperwork onto your computer is a great way to eliminate paper clutter. You can also take a picture of objects before giving them away. If there is an heirloom you want to keep in the family, consider passing it down to a family member. While starting the decluttering process can be difficult, the more items you remove, the easier it will become. Remember, the less you have to pack, the easier your move will be.
Finding the Right Home
Now that your home is largely clutter-free, it’s time to start thinking about where you want to make your new home. Do you want to stay in your current town? Move closer to the family? Go somewhere warm? The choice is yours! To help determine your budget for a new home, it is helpful to get an estimate of your home’s value. Once you know your budget, do some online research about real estate pricing. For example, if you want to move to New Orleans, LA, keep in mind that homes were selling for around $280K last month. To determine real estate prices in an area, you can simply go online and search for current listings. If you want a bit of additional help, consider contacting a real estate agent.
Downsizing can be an incredibly valuable experience. Not only will you get rid of some of the excess clutter, but you will also be in a better place to relocate. By using the tips above, you will take steps toward making the most of your golden years.