How, What, & When: Downsizing Made Simple for Seniors

Moving house as a senior presents unique challenges. But it’s not impossible to downsize, declutter, and successfully move into a smaller home with less stuff. Here’s how, what, and when to downsize to make moving as smooth as possible.

When to List Your Property for Sale

Did you know that the day you list your property can affect how quickly it sells? According to CNBC, a home listed on Thursday sells five days sooner than one that goes live on a Sunday. The rationalization is that people—including potential buyers—begin planning their weekends in advance of Friday.

At the same time, homes with a Wednesday listing earned over $2,000 more on their sales, analysts determined. Think about what matters more to you—a quick sale or a few thousand more on the price—and choose accordingly.

How to Find the Right Home for Your Golden Years

After living in a larger home for so long, downsizing is both freeing and frustrating. Rethink your needs and desires and focus on finding those elements in your new place. For example, everyone—including seniors—benefits from spending time outdoors. Decide whether a garden area is a must-have for your home. Consider the distance from family, friends, and conveniences like grocery stores and gas stations.

Also think about universal design elements, which are friendly to users of all ability levels. If you have mobility challenges, wider doorways, low grading, and grab bars in restrooms are all essentials.

Investigate home price trends in your area to see what you can afford. Looking at comparable properties to your current home can also give you a realistic picture of the property’s value.

How to Decide What to Get Rid Of

Getting rid of belongings is always fraught with emotion. The key to clearing out your home in preparation for a move is thinking ahead. Recognize what you truly need and what will make you happy in your new place.

Try to think about other people who could benefit from the belongings you no longer need and donate, sell, or give it away to someone who will appreciate it. A little altruism can help reduce the stress of moving and give you a clean slate for the next chapter of your life.

How to Make Moving Simpler

Downsizing before you move means less unnecessary stuff to transport. Once you decide what to get rid of, you will appreciate how much easier packing becomes. Plus, when you unpack in your new home, you won’t need to fill up the trash bin immediately.

In addition to downsizing, packing smart is also crucial. Liberty Mutual recommends packing tips such as using your dinner napkins to protect glasses, labeling all boxes, and covering clothing on hangers with trash bags. Apply packing hacks to every room in the house and moving will be much simpler before the moving van even arrives.

Try to plan ahead for your move, scheduling as far in advance as possible. Think about hiring moving specialists or enlisting family and friends to help. Make sure to coordinate utility services, deliveries, and mail forwarding before moving day.

What to Do with Items You Can’t Move With

You may have items that won’t fit in the new home. Rather than struggling with the emotions of letting go of prized possessions, consider long- or short-term storage. After all, letting go of an object can often feel like giving up special memories. Whether you choose a small unit for a few key pieces or need a large storage space for furniture, saving things to sort through later can make moving less emotional.

Selling a home at any point in life is time-consuming and stress-inducing. With these tips, you can go on to enjoy your golden years with less stuff, less stress, and a home that’s perfect for you, all while saving quite a bit of money at the same time.

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Photo credit: Pixabay

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