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Downsizing and Moving to a Smaller Home: A Guide for Seniors

Downsizing and Moving to a Smaller Home: A Guide for Seniors

We tend to accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. From souvenirs to the latest fashions, we tend to fill every nook and cranny in our homes with things we like in the moment but forget about over time. If your kids are grown and out of the house, and you are approaching your golden years, you may start to wonder why you are keeping it all around.

For some people, the idea of downsizing their belongings and home is stressful. However, there are tons of benefits to the process:

  • Decluttering is therapeutic. When you let go of all the things you don’t need or use, you are embracing the present and letting go of the past.
  • Clothes, toys, linens, and other things you have around the house but don’t use can be donated to women and children’s shelters or other charities that will delegate the items to someone who can really use them.
  • As you get older, navigating a large house becomes more difficult. Downsizing to a smaller place provides just enough space for you to be comfortable without it being cumbersome.
  • A smaller home is less expensive. You will spend less on insurance, utilities, taxes, and more. The money you save can be put toward the things you always wanted to do in your retirement, and will be an easy way to supplement your retirement savings.

Downsizing your belongings before you find a smaller place is paramount. Getting rid of all the things you don’t need beforehand will cut down on the hard part—actually moving.

Moving in Your Senior Years

Chances are, it has been years since you had to deal with the stress of moving to a new house. Now that you are in your senior years, it’s important to realize that you don’t have to do it all yourself. Gone are the days of borrowing your friend’s truck to make several trips hauling boxes.

To protect your back and your sanity, hire an experienced moving company that will pack, organize, and unpack for you. Research local companies with the Better Business Bureau and ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. The best moving companies get booked during their busy times quickly. If you find a company that is constantly booked during those times but available when you want them, you may have a winner. In the Milwaukee area, a local move averages $415.

If you have pets, keep them safe by boarding them (an overnight stay usually costs $25 – $45) or having a neighbor watch them while the house is full of strange people. The doors will be opening and closing without warning, providing an easy escape route for your cat or dog. You can pick them up on your way to the new place so you all arrive as a family.

One of the most important things you should do during this process is to take time to care for your sanity. While it is easy to fall back into old pre-retirement habits of overworking and stressing out, this is a time for self-care. Be sure you are getting enough sleep and exercise. Maintain a healthy diet by cooking nutritious meals and avoiding excess sugars and fats. Finally, take time for rest and reflection with a yoga or meditation class. You will learn helpful mindfulness skills that make every day more blissful.

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Downsizing in your senior years involves getting rid of stuff you don’t need in order to relocate to a smaller, more functional house. Instead of trying to do it all on your own, hire experienced movers who can help you do the heavy lifting while staying organized. Protect your four-legged friends by boarding them on moving day. Finally, make sure you are taking time to care for yourself. The goal of the entire process is to make life easier and more enjoyable.