If you have decided to downsize, the task before you may seem overwhelming. There is so much to research, and you must consider which possessions to keep and how to make the move as easy as possible. Here are some tips to keep your journey smooth.
Find Your Forever Home
Post-retirement is your chance to live where you choose, not just where you work. You could be close to family or move to the location you’ve always dreamed of living. Whatever you decide, it’s wise to do a preliminary online search. This way, you can see which size suits you and what your budget can get in your preferred location. By doing this research, you would know that homes in Montrose, for example, have an average listing price of around $375,000. Wherever you look, there are things to consider beyond pricing and house sizes. A thriving community is a good place to start, and such places should have reliable public transportation, hospitals, and a means to meet other seniors for companionship.
Lighten Your Load
The most difficult part of downsizing is letting go of possessions. Start this part of the moving process early, as you may end up going slower than you initially anticipated. There could be memories attached to objects, or you may feel obligated to keep mementos of your own parents. However, only keep memorabilia that has positive memories and meaning to you. Ask your family if they would like any items in good condition; if not, donate them to a shelter or charity shop. You could also host a garage sale or advertise furniture you won’t take with you online via sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or eBay.
Packing up a home is a challenge, so it may be best to get help from friends, neighbors, or family. Prepare by making a list of belongings you’ll need. Once you have them, keep your packing supplies together in one area. After all, running out of tape or losing track of permanent markers can interrupt your process. You will also need insulation to keep fragile items safe. You can use clothes and linens, but you should also have newspapers, bubble wrap, or paper towels on hand as well. You’ll likely need moving boxes as well, and there are some cheap options available (some may be purchased for under $1). Keep a notebook or journal on hand so you can track where things are packed. Try color coding everything to make items easy to find.
Make Moving Easy
The most physically challenging aspect of downsizing is actually moving. For an in-town move, friends and family can help you out. However, you never know who may cancel at the last minute. Hiring a reputable moving company is a smart and easy option. They should have good reviews, either via word of mouth or from online research. Ask about their licensing and insurance and get an estimate in writing (the national average cost of hiring movers is $505 – $1,401). Include in that estimate what any additional fees may be. Get plenty of rest the day before your move, as you’re going to expend a lot of energy. Given that, stock up on snacks and water to sustain you on your journey.
Downsizing is often about improving quality of life. Socializing is a large part of living better. If you are somewhere new, it may feel difficult to meet people. Start by reaching out to local community centers, or consider adult education courses. If your city has a senior center, take advantage of it. There may be classes or group activities that can entertain and introduce you to new people. Explore your new town, or invite your neighbors out for a cup of coffee. Even if you don’t hit it off right away, they may have ideas of where you can go and new activities to try.
Don’t let the prospect of downsizing keep you from living the life you have dreamt of. With a few steps, you can make those dreams a reality. Now is the time to begin living your happiest life.
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Guest blog from Michael Longsdon of Elder Freedom