Downsizing Tips for Seniors

You’ve probably been downsizing little by little for years. From when the kids grow up and move out of the home to when you’re selecting a smaller house that is easier to take care of, downsizing helps to make your house feel more comfortable, provide extra space, and even make it a safer place for loved ones who may have mobility issues while getting older. Now when entering retirement, you may wish to do another big downsize if you plan on buying an apartment or condo in a senior living community.

Here are some helpful tips to use to make downsizing your home a smoother process.

Why Should You Downsize?

There are several reasons why people decide that it’s time to downsize. Downsizing to a smaller space can save you money when you enter retirement. How? You can have lower utility bills, home maintenance costs, property taxes and mortgage payments when moving to a smaller space that is centrally managed.

Other advantages of downsizing involve the opportunity to move closer to your loved ones, eliminate clutter and creating safer and more simplified lifestyles for seniors.

Is It Time for Me to Downsize?

You want to downsize when it is the right time for you. Yet figuring out that timeframe can be difficult. Here are several things to consider that may help you make the decision.

Can you afford to stay where you are now?

Whether you can or cannot afford your current living situation, a smaller place can make things more affordable. Consider your finances and how long you can pay for expenses at your current place in the next 2 years, 5 years or 7 years. This timeline can help you figure out when to move so you have plenty of time to get all the tasks completed.

Are you by yourself and want to socialize with people in your age range?

If your family has moved across the country, you may be feeling lonely and want to engage with other seniors who share your same interests. The option of moving to a retirement community nearby in Maryland may work out for you. There will be others who share your same interests as you can connect and make friends. Many retirement communities also have onsite recreational and fitness activities to participate in with others when you are just looking for social activities.

Are your medical needs changing?

Your medical needs may require you to have in-home care or have more visits with doctors. Other times, you may just need daily assistance with regular activities such as dressing or bathing. In these circumstances, a retirement community with trained staff who are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week can provide additional care that is based on your specific needs.

Helpful Tips When Downsizing

Begin Early

You want to give yourself plenty of time when downsizing to a smaller place. With this extra time, you can plan out what items to save, what to donate, and what to sell. You can also speak with your family members about the move so everyone is prepared and can make the right adjustments to the new living arrangements. During this time, you can create a checklist on how you plan to perform the downsizing task.

Do Small Tasks First

Downsizing from a home is a very big task. Start out in smaller rooms where the items are easy to sort and you don’t hold as much emotional attachment to them. Select the laundry room, linen closet, or spare rooms first and leave basements, attics, and garages last. Most often, you keep your most prized possessions, old hobbies, and lots of boxes in attics and basements as it can take time to sort through them all.

Set Achievable Goals

If you are making a long distance move, it requires time to make arrangements with moving companies or with shipping companies to get your items to your new home. Make achievable goals for how much time you will really need to downsize and get everything packed away. Then you will have a smoother process and less surprises that could derail the entire move.

Donate & Sell Items

When it comes to figuring out how to downsize, you can’t take everything with you. You’ll have to make some tough decisions on what to keep. The easiest way to go through your items is to deal with any duplicate things. If you have 3 crockpots, give the extras to family members or neighbors, or donate the items. Next, give away items that family members have expressed their interest in taking. Then sell off items that can make you some extra cash that can help lower your moving expenses. For items that you don’t want and can’t sell or donate, don’t be afraid to toss them away.

Fox Hill’s Inviting Senior Living Community

At Fox Hill, there are 240 beautifully-landscaped condominiums on 16-acres for seniors who are looking to downsize to a warm and welcoming community. The condominiums come in a range of sizes and floor plans to meet your living needs.  This retirement community in Bethesda also provides a host of amenities including a spa, salon, signature dining, art studios and many other activities.

For more information, reach out to Fox Hill to schedule a tour.

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