From Clutter to Keepsakes – How to Downsize in Retirement With Less Stress

Moving is a big deal at any stage of life, but when you downsize in retirement, there are a few extra considerations to keep in mind. Downsizing to a smaller home also means downsizing what goes inside your home. What do you do with a lifetime of possessions? How do you find the perfect home for retirement and manage the move with minimal stress? This is your guide for finding the right answers to all of these questions and making this move as easy as possible.

Living With Less Stuff

A smaller home may be ideal for retirement, but that leaves you with the task of deciding what to do with anything that doesn’t fit. Start by looking at the bigger things. Are there entire rooms you’re eliminating, like a den or home office? That should give you an idea of furniture pieces that can go. Then, go through and take stock of what you own. Consider what you really need, what you have duplicates of, and what you can live without.

USA Today suggests taking your time with this process. If you feel too rushed sorting everything before your move or you have put more items in the “keep” pile than fit in your new home, consider renting a storage unit for the excess. Search online for nearby self-storage to find the best deals in your area. For example, the overall average price of a self-storage unit booked in Oakland, CA, over the past 180 days is $105.32.

You may find that memorabilia are the hardest items to go through, and you definitely don’t want to part with anything that you’d regret letting go of. Other than storage, another option is to give gifts to family members. Passing on these special items gives the recipient the chance to enjoy them, and you can be confident that they’re being put to good use.

Find the Home that Fits Your Needs

Besides less space, the other features that you look for in a home will probably be different from what you’re used to. That can be a big change, but it also gives you the opportunity to enjoy a simpler lifestyle. For example, if you’re fed up with lawn care, maybe you want a home that has a low-maintenance yard. According to GrandCare, you should also think about accessibility features that will make the home safe if you have any mobility issues in the future. Note that homes for sale in Oakland currently average a listing price of about $688,000, but to find one that has senior-friendly, accessible features, you may need to be willing to spend a little bit more.

Tips to Make Moving Day Easy, Breezy

Most of us don’t think of moving as easy, but with careful planning, it can be easier than you think. One thing to think about ahead of time is keeping pets safe. The best way to keep a dog safe and avoid mishaps or him getting loose, is to keep your pup in a room separate from the action on moving day. If you don’t have one, invest in a quality dog crate so your dog will be safe and comfortable. Dogs can sense the upheaval of a move, and it can cause them to become anxious and act out of character, but using a crate is an easy way to restore their sense of security.

Along with the peace of mind that your pets are safe, you can ease your own stress by packing with a plan. Decide on who you can ask for help: will you enlist family members, hire professional movers, or maybe a senior move manager? You definitely don’t want to try to do everything on your own, and at a rate of about $30 to $50 per hour, hiring pros may be a good investment.

When you start packing, make a list of essentials that you need for a couple of days, such as bedding, clothing, toiletries and medications, and pack those separately. For everything else, brush up on packing tips that will help you pack more efficiently and protect things from getting broken.

Packing up and moving to a smaller home, possibly after years in the same place, can feel overwhelming. Going into it with a plan is the best way to be sure you’re making all the best decisions for you. Downsizing may not be easy, but it can be less stressful and lead to amazing new beginnings.

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