If you’re planning to downsize, then you will need to plan carefully to avoid running into problems along the way, especially if you are moving to minimize stress. Luckily, some of the most common downsizing issues facing seniors are also easily preventable.
Moving Clutter Into a New Home
It can be so hard to part with personal items, especially when you’ve had them for so long. Still, keeping clutter around can be dangerous for your health, safety, and well-being. In addition to causing chronic feelings of stress, having clutter in your new home can lead to falls and other hazards for your physical and mental health. So, if you plan on downsizing, you need to have a plan to clear out clutter before you start packing.
For larger items or large amounts of trash such as mattresses and old appliances, hiring prescreened junk haulers may be your best solution for getting rid of clutter quickly. Once you have the larger items and trash out of your current home, it should be easier to begin the decluttering process. Try to give yourself plenty of time to complete this project, especially if you have amassed a large collection of personal items, decor, and furniture. You can separate belongings into piles to stay organized, with items to be thrown away, items to be given to family, items to be donated, and finally, items you would like to keep.
Failing to Research Housing Prices
Many seniors consider downsizing as a way to save money and stress in retirement. While moving to a smaller home can lead to fewer maintenance costs and responsibilities, seniors who are planning to downsize may be in for some surprises when they start looking at current housing prices. With the demand for houses continuing to grow, you may end up spending more on a smaller house than you did buying your current home.
So, before you make the decision to sell your home and start looking for a new one, do some research to see what prices are like in your desired area and what trends could impact your downsizing efforts. For example, if your local real estate market is a seller’s market, you may have a harder time negotiating lower prices on your new home; however, you could end up selling your current home faster. In a buyer’s market, you will likely have more options for your new home and fewer selling advantages for your older one. It’s important to take these factors into consideration so you don’t end up losing money. You should also consider working with a realtor to save yourself the time and hassle of doing all of this research solo.
Forgetting to Plan a Downsizing Move
Taking care of clutter and finding a new home are two very important tasks for downsizing seniors. While these steps can be complicated enough on their own, seniors who are planning to downsize also need to think about planning for their actual move amidst all of the chaos. Thankfully, you can use move planning checklists to guide you through this process and prevent any missed steps along the way. If you plan on hiring professional movers, which is generally a good idea for older adults, calling around to compare prices and check availability should be at the top of this moving checklist. Other tasks you will need to take care of include finding new healthcare providers, refilling prescription medications, and changing your address. Plan on bringing a pet with you? Then you will want to consider creating a moving plan for pets as well. You may need to arrange a pet sitter during your move or check for new vaccinations needed.
Downsizing can be a perfect solution for seniors looking to simplify their life and expenses in retirement. Just make sure you keep your downsizing move simple by avoiding the mistakes mentioned above so you can save yourself time, stress, and unnecessary headaches.