Downsizing Advice for Seniors

Downsizing Advice for Seniors: Picking a Living Situation and Getting Rid of Stuff by Michael Longsdon

Is downsizing right for you? Unless you have an emotional attachment to your home you’re simply not willing to break, it very well might be. Downsizing allows you to live a simpler life with less to keep up with and fewer responsibilities. For a lot of retirees, downsizing can also free up money they can contribute to their nest egg. Depending on what kind of living situation you choose, you can cut down significantly on costs such as insurance, utilities, and taxes.

Your Ideal Living Situation

When deciding whether downsizing is a financially sound decision, research home prices online to see both what you’ll get for selling your current property and how much smaller properties in your area cost. Keep in mind, however, that moving comes with several unexpected costs. If there isn’t enough disparity between your home’s equity and the expense of a new home, downsizing isn’t something you should do for financial reasons. You can still live with less by paring down belongings and decluttering your home.

As the aging population skyrockets, more and more people are finding creative solutions for their ideal life in retirement. Some seniors decide to make their retirement an adventure and hit the road in an RV; the funds from your home’s sale could cover the cost of a motorhome and a smaller house. There are even retirees who take the minimalist lifestyle to extremes with tiny homes. The point is, these are your golden years — no one else’s. You don’t have to follow anyone’s rules — instead, follow your heart and happiness to the place you need to be.

Cleaning Out and Getting Rid

Some people struggle with the idea of getting rid of their belongings because they tend to attach memories and emotions to certain things. HomeAdvisor asserts that renting a storage unit is an option that can allow you to maintain your keepsakes without the need for a large family home.

However, if you’re willing to let go, you have options that will put your stuff to good use. Donate, sell, or recycle anything that doesn’t serve a purpose in your day-to-day life. When was the last time you actually used that bread machine? Sell it. Do you really need to hold on to all those old blankets and towels “just in case?” No, you do not — donate them! And with today’s streaming technology, you no longer need DVDs, CDs, tapes, or any other hard copies of your favorite media. Contact a local recycling company to pick up outdated media and dispose of it responsibly.

The more time you give yourself to start cleaning out, the more efficient you will be. Always declutter one room at a time — don’t flit around from room to room leaving projects undone. It also helps to start in a room that doesn’t hold too much sentimental value — your home office or a bathroom, for instance. These rooms serve as a warm-up that gets you ready for the more challenging parts of the house (we’re looking at you, kid’s room.)

Whenever you’re deciding what to do with an item, ask yourself three questions:

● Do you truly need it?
● Do you truly adore it?
● Would you trade inner peace for this particular item?

Answering those questions should help you be honest about your emotional connection to something, and if it’s something worth letting go, chances are, it is.

Downsizing is a smart choice for many seniors. People all over the country are making the most of their retirement by embracing new and exciting living situations from tiny homes to the wide open road. Even if a smaller home isn’t the best move for you financially, you can benefit from downsizing your belongings. Start by cleaning out rooms without many emotional attachments to warm up for the harder things you’ll have to let go of.