Your house can be home to a lot of things: family history and special memories. It can also become a lot of work. And if you’ve lived there for decades, it can also hold a lot of stuff. That’s why many seniors are discovering the advantages of downsizing.
If you’re thinking about downsizing, it’s important to consider your end goal. Are you looking to move to a smaller house so you have less space to clean and maintain? Or are you looking to free yourself from the responsibilities of home maintenance, cooking and cleaning to focus more on family, friends and special interests? This blog will show you how downsizing your home and moving to a senior living community like Peace Village can expand your possibilities.
Advantages of Downsizing
When reviewing your options, it’s important to consider how much space you’re currently using and how it’s being used. For many seniors, they only use a few rooms: bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom, and the rest of their current space is used to store decades of possessions. By better aligning your living space with your current lifestyle, you could see several benefits of downsizing, including:
- Lower cost of living: Even if you don’t currently have a mortgage payment, moving to a smaller space is a quick way to reduce costs, leading to increased cash flow. Plus, the smaller your new space, the more quickly you’ll start saving money on expenses like heating and electricity.
- Less maintenance: It can become difficult to clean and maintain a big living space. A senior living community can handle any needed repairs to appliances, heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical. Plus most offer dining, housekeeping and flat linen service.
- More socializing: Once the maintenance is taken care of, you’ll have more time to pursue your hobbies and interests. A Life Plan Community like Peace Village has a calendar full of fitness and wellness classes, clubs, committees, happy hours, and social outings.
How to Downsize
Moving from a place you’ve called home can be hard. And the thought of sorting and packing decades of stuff can quickly start to feel overwhelming. Here are 11 helpful tips:
- Be positive: Focus on the life ahead of you. This is a time to think about what you’ll be doing at your new home.
- Start small: Set aside 15 minutes a day or week to do some decluttering. Start with a drawer or closet in an area of your house with little emotional attachment.
- Start early: Downsizing will probably take longer than you expect. Be patient and take your time. It might take a couple of weeks or even months, rather than a couple of days, to sort through your entire house.
- Go slow and steady: Work in one room or area at a time, and be sure to take breaks when you get tired. Remain aware of your mental state. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by tiredness or by emotion.
- Just the necessities: Choose the most necessary furniture items first like a bed, dresser, small kitchen table with a couple of chairs, couch, and an end table. Then, if there’s still room, you can add extra pieces.
- Make it homey: Keep only the possessions that make your house distinctively your home. Framed family photos, artwork and other cherished items should have a spot in your new place to help create a familiar and homelike environment.
- Empty the toolbox: When you choose a maintenance-free community like Peace Village, we’ll take care of the mowing and leaf and snow removal. Plus, we’ll look after the plumbing, heating and air conditioning, so you won’t need most of your tools.
- No maybes: Take a hard look at every item you pick up. If you use it regularly, keep it. If it’s been sitting in a closet or on a shelf for a year or more, it’s time to let it go. It’ll be tempting to make a third pile of things to keep if you have space, but don’t fall for it.
- Get a second opinion: Ask someone else to help you make decisions so that you have another pair of eyes. You may have too many memories attached to your things, so having someone who has no association with them can help.
- Be creative: If you have a lifetime collection of mementos, consider picking a couple of items to keep and take photos of the rest. Then have them made into a photo book that can sit on your coffee table or mantle.
- Keepsakes: Are there certain heirlooms or pieces you plan to leave to your family and friends? Consider giving those gifts now. That way you’ll be able enjoy the memories with them.
Find the Right Fit
If you’re ready to downsize your responsibilities while upsizing your lifestyle, now’s a good time to consider a senior living community like Peace Village. To explore your options, try our Floor Plan Finder. We’re sure to have something to fit your lifestyle and your budget, including one-bedroom apartment homes.