Making the decision to move from a larger home to a smaller one can be very hard. Your home, after all, is a source of comfort and is filled with beloved memories. For many, it’s where you watched your family grow.
But sometimes you may not have a choice, especially as the years go by. As an older adult, the practicality of downsizing may outweigh the sentimental value and familiarity of your current, larger home. What follows are some signs that the time may be right for you to downsize to a smaller home.
1. The maintenance is too much
Keeping a well-maintained larger home requires a lot of work. Whether it’s yard chores, replacing broken roof shingles or other jobs outside and inside the home, the upkeep can leave you exhausted.
Or, perhaps you’re simply no longer able to do certain household maintenance tasks due to age-related physical ailments.
The solution is to hire others to do the job or ask family members who may or may not have the time or skill. But whether you’re living by yourself or with someone else, maintaining a larger home may become overwhelming.
2. It’s harder to get around
Mobility Problems are common for older adults. It may be harder to get up and down the stairs or even just move around the home the way you used to.
If you notice that getting around the house has become a pain, a downsize to a smaller, one-level property can make daily life easier.
3. You’ve retired
Retirement is a common motivator for older adults to downsize homes. If you’ve retired or are planning to soon, you may want to decrease your annual expenses while making sure you have enough saved for the rest of your retirement.
Moving into a smaller home or independent living community can cut down on your mortgage, taxes and insurance payments, leaving a cushion in your bank accounts.
4. It’s harder to find things
Just because you’re having a harder time finding things around the house doesn’t mean you’re experiencing cognitive issues such as dementia. But it may be a sign that you have too much stuff, some of which you don’t need anymore.
Whether you’re living alone or not, living in a larger home can become lonely especially after the kids have moved out and/or maybe living in another city and are unable to visit as often. Downsizing and moving into a retirement community or an apartment will revive your social life and you will have less to maintain.
If a good portion of your income is going towards paying your house expenses then it might be a good time to downsize to a smaller home. Selling your large home will reduce those expenses and put some in your bank account.
How to get started.
Planning is the key to get started. Give yourself six months to a year before your move to start the following de-cluttering process.
- Shred all your old bank statements, receipts, cards, credit card statements.
- Dispose of outdated food and dry goods, clothes, cleaning products, paint, etc.
- Put all your important documents such as: insurance policies, wills, birth certificates, copies of health cards, social insurance cards, driver’s licence and passports in a file and put in a secure place maybe a safety deposit box or someone like your accountant or the executor of your will.
- Start with one room at a time – make three piles – one for give-away items, another for throw-away items and the last one would be the stuff you wish to keep.
- Use colour coded stickers to identify the furniture that you wish to keep.
There are companies that specialize in helping people to de-clutter and sort and if you find that the process might be a little overwhelming give me a call and I would be happy to give you the name of a few of those companies.