Tips for Seniors Downsizing: Downsize Your Home for a Better Retirement

 

Tips for Seniors Downsizing:

Downsize Your Home for a Better Retirement

Photo by Unsplash

 

Downsizing isn’t for everybody, but if you’re approaching retirement and notice your current home is more than you’re willing to be responsible for, it’s definitely something you should consider. When you downsize your home, you have less to clean and a smaller yard to maintain-- if you even choose to have one in the first place. A smaller place means lower utilities, taxes, and insurance premiums so you have more money to spend on the things you want to do in retirement. When you downsize, you have more freedom to move to a place that has the amenities and accessibility you desire. Furthermore, a smaller place is better for facilitating aging-in-place, something 87 percent of seniors want to do.

 

Many seniors have been in their current homes for years and barely remember the last time they had to move. Fear not-- with these helpful tips, the entire moving process can be a breeze.

 

The Clean Out

 

Downsizing your home means downsizing the things you own as well. After all, you can’t fit everything you have into a smaller home unless you are able to break some laws of physics. Give yourself a few months to go through each room and really clean out your belongings before it’s time to pack. Sell furniture you don’t plan to take with you. Better yet, sell all your furniture and completely redecorate once you move. Anything that you can’t sell can be donated to local charities.

 

Try to avoid putting too much stuff in the trash-- you don’t want to contribute to the world’s landfill problem. You’d be surprised at how many things you can actually recycle. You may have to pay a small fee for someone to pick up and dispose your larger items, but there are also recycling programs that pay you! For instance, if you have a lot of old clothes that are too ratty or stained to donate, bag them up and take them to your nearest H&M to get 15 percent off your next purchase.

 

A Storage Solution

 

If you’ve cleaned out your belongings and find that you can’t let go of some things, don’t sweat it. You don’t have to get rid of anything you don’t want to, but it’s important to make your new place as clean and clutter-free as possible. Instead of bringing everything with you, take just the items you need for this season and store the rest in an offsite unit. You can keep your extra possessions there and retrieve them as needed or get rid of them at a later date. Look around your area for the best price on storage units-- the overall average cost of one in Bozeman, MT, over the past 180 days is about $29.

 

Protect Your Pup

If you have a dog or two, the downsizing process can be very stressful. Unfamiliar sights and smells can be overwhelming, and they may act out due to their anxiety. On the day of the move, keep them safe and out of harm’s way by putting them in another room and crate them so they are not under foot or destructive. When looking for a crate, be sure to get one that is just big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around inside so they feel secure but not cramped. If crating your dog isn’t a good option, consider hiring a pet sitter for the day. Hourly rates for this service nationwide are about $14 to $19 an hour, but if you hire someone for the day, they’ll likely give you a discount on providing your pet a calm, loving environment away from the chaos of your move.

 

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Downsizing is a great way for seniors to cut down on expenses and live their best life during retirement. When you downsize your home, you have to get rid of belongings as well. Make sure to sell, donate, or recycle what you get rid of, and try to keep your stuff out of landfills. You don’t have to get rid of everything, but keep your new home uncluttered by storing extra items in an offsite facility. Finally, make sure you dog is safe on moving day by putting them in their crate or hiring a pet sitter so they don’t trip people up or destroy things.

 

 

 

Article by, Michael Longsdon

mike@elderfreedom.net

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