Many seniors choose to downsize later in life because their living space is too large and it becomes difficult to maintain. While the choice to move may be practical, it’s also smart from a fiscal position because you’ll be saving money by reducing (or paying off) your mortgage, taxes, and utilities — not to mention any costs associated with maintaining a larger home. Moving can be a daunting process for anyone, but if you’re a senior, take a few extra precautionary measures, so your transition is safe and as stress-free as possible.
Before anything else, you need to declutter your current home before transitioning into a downsized one. Aside from the issue of space, when there are too many things sitting around, seniors run the risk of tripping and falling — a senior falls every second of every day in the U.S., making it the number one cause of injury and deaths among older Americans.
Don’t wait until the last minute: Downsizing can be overwhelming, so the sooner you get started the better.
There’s no such thing as a ‘maybe’ pile: It’s likely that you’ll know exactly, which items to keep and which to donate or give away, but then there are the items of uncertainty. When you’re hesitant, remind yourself that it won’t be possible to take everything with you to your downsized home.
Choose one item to represent a collection: Whether it’s music boxes or snow globes, it may not be possible to take every piece from every collection you’ve accumulated over the years. Take one or two items from each so you can still represent your personal interests in your new home.
Don’t Try To Do a DIY Move
Trying to pack and move everything yourself can result in serious injury while placing an insurmountable amount of stress on your plate — that’s probably why the number of senior-focused movers is on the rise. An expert is trained to perfectly pack boxes — and in record time. Pros can also unassemble bulky furniture and put it back together in your new place. Should something break or become damaged during the move, the company you hired is liable.
Organize Your New Home From Day One
The organization process begins with packing. Make sure each box is labeled and numbered so it can be placed into the applicable place by the movers. Next, make sure your home remains orderly and free from obstacles — especially in places where you spend a lot of time. Your bedroom should be a clean, clutter-free, serene space where you can relax. Too often, it’s a catch-all for clothes that don’t fit in the closet, laundry that needs to be done, and stored items that somehow seem to keep creeping out from under the bed where you thought they were out of sight, out of mind.
Even after doing a major purge of your entire home, sometimes it still may not be possible to bring everything with you to your smaller abode. In this case, it’s time to consider a storage unit for items including holiday decor, bulky seasonal clothing such as coats and boots and any sporting equipment when it’s off-season. Shop around for a unit and don’t necessarily get caught up with choosing the closest one to your house, as it may not be the most cost effective. Make sure to tour the facilities (check for cleanliness) and ask questions about length of contract, what type of security is included, after-hours assistance, insurance and whether or not the units are climate-controlled.
Keep in mind that it’s completely normal to have some bittersweet moments during the packing and moving process. Stay motivated to get through everything by thinking of how you’ll enjoy your golden years.
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