As we get older, we somehow manage to accumulate more and more stuff. As the years go on, we get to a certain point where we must downsize our space and declutter our lives. Downsizing into a retirement home can be a physically and emotionally tough time, but these tips should help smooth over the transition.
If you are still a few years out from moving into a retirement home, start planning now. Preparing yourself mentally and physically for this step in your life can drastically help. Little by little, go through your stuff, one room at a time. Allow yourself to keep some sentimental items, but be practical with what you are going to need when you move into a smaller home.
Ask for help
While you are planning your move, don’t be afraid to ask for help. While your children and grandchildren probably don’t want to haul your things around during the actual move, they are more than likely open to helping you go through your items when downsizing. On moving day, you can relieve your family by hiring moving helpers to pack/unpack and move your things for you. Online reviews are a good way to check out your movers beforehand so you know they are reliable.
Choose a familiar location
To create a seamless downsizing experience, make sure you are choosing a retirement location that makes you feel comfortable. Moving to a new home is hard enough, let alone moving to a whole new city. Consider staying in an area you are familiar with. A house isn’t the only thing that feels like “home.” Sometimes staying in a familiar city can help ease you into the process.
Visit a financial planner
During this time in your life, your finances are going to be shifted from a house mortgage to a retirement community fee. You may want to sell your car or shift other finances around as well. Visiting a financial planner before downsizing into a retirement home will allow you to be informed on how much money you will have for the following years and will be beneficial in choosing what option is best for you.
Be open to change
Lastly, embrace this change in your life. Although it’s easy to get hung up on the stressors of downsizing, view this as an opportunity. It can be difficult to let go of your things, but it can help to know they are going to a good cause. Donate your items to a charity to help those in need, while also allowing yourself a tax write-off. If you have furniture or sentimental items you can’t bear to part with, consider giving them to children or grandchildren. This way you can still see them when you visit. If you have large items that you absolutely have to keep, storage is always an option. Find a location near your new home, so you can easily access your items if you need them.
Do you have any tips for downsizing into a retirement home? Share your wisdom in the comments below!