Five Downsizing Steps No One Talks About
Maybe you’re intrigued by all the benefits of senior living, but have been putting off this transition because moving and downsizing feels overwhelming. There are many resources that list the steps to downsizing, along with the benefits of this move for empty nesters, but they often leave something to be desired.
Keep reading for insight into what it really feels like to pare down, put your house on the market and settle into a space that is smaller than you are used to.
1. Selling Your Home as an Older Adult
Selling property can be complex and doesn’t always match up with your ideal timeline, but it is a great time to sell your house and get the most money from your investment! The market may be just right for you to make this leap!
As you start this process, it’s important to know that not every real estate agent has expertise in the needs of older adults who are selling their homes. A Certified Senior Advisor® or a Senior Real Estate Specialist® can educate you about senior-specific financing options, help you avoid scams aimed at older adults selling their homes, and advise you on downsizing strategies.
Another professional you may consider hiring is a Senior Move Manager® through the National Association of Specialty & Senior Move Managers. These experts can provide guidance as you pare down, help facilitate the logistics of your move, and find a spot for must have items you want to move with you.
Jeanie Tini says, “Our Move-in Coordinator and design studio professionals will be at your service as well. If you’re uncertain about how your belongings will fit into your new home or how to maximize your floor plan to suit your lifestyle, we will help!”
2. Paring Down Possessions
Paring down can be a relief. It can declutter both your space and your mind. It is exactly the kind of reset that can launch you into this new phase of life.
Still, it can feel overwhelming to think about all at once, and the process can elicit an emotional response sometimes.
- Some strategies that can make this process easier are:
- Follow a checklist of paring down steps
- Start early, make a plan and go slowly
- Consider taking pictures of items that you are finding it difficult to part with
- Ask family members to help you sort through spaces in your home
- Hire an auction company that can help you sell your possessions
- Start with one area of your home and expand out, one room at a time
- Check on-site storage options for pieces you don’t want to part with
3. Negotiating the “Right Time” To Downsize
In many cases, family members disagree about when to sell the family home. Sometimes there is pressure from adult children for their parents to move into retirement living before their parents are ready. Other times children have an attachment to the home they grew up in that makes a parent’s decision to downsize their home challenging.
Whatever the nature of these disagreements, it is best to be as informed as possible when making this decision. Do some research on your potential new residence. Create a pro/con list. Make sure all your options are on the table.
Also, make sure that all parties involved understand the advantages of a retirement community like The Estates at Carpenters in Lakeland, FL.
Jeanie Tini, Director of Marketing at The Estates says, “Moving into an independent living community offers an array of amenities to enhance your health and happiness.”
For example, at The Estates, residents enjoy amenities such as:
- Chef-prepared cuisine
- Calendar of cultural events and learning opportunities
- A full continuum of health care
- Wellness activities
- Art studio, woodworking shop, and dog park
- Transportation services
- 24-hour security and camera surveillance
4.Dealing with Unexpected Costs
Among the many benefits of downsizing is the potential to save money. When you move to a senior living community, you will no longer have a mortgage payment or be responsible for real estate taxes or home maintenance costs. On top of that, you will likely decrease your utility bills, as smaller square footage means energy savings.
However, there might be some costs associated with your move that come up. For example, you may have relocation costs or invoices from professionals you hire to help you make this transition. If you are not able to get rid of all the items you hoped to purge, you may end up having to rent a storage unit to house your things. Additionally, if the size of the rooms in your new floor plan are significantly different from where you live now, you may also need to purchase new furniture to fit your smaller home.
5. Reimagining Household Gatherings
The last downsizing step that is rarely talked about is the fact that holiday celebrations, dinner parties and family gatherings may look different than they have in the past. Not having the space you are used to can require a period of adjustment.
Tini says, “At The Estates at Carpenters, our floor plans range from 475 to 2,500 square feet, which allows you to prioritize and choose the kind of space that suits your needs. So, if hosting is important to you, this is still very much a possibility.”
You may also have access to other spaces that can accommodate your guests. For example, you can reserve our private dining room, invite family and friends over to the outside patio and grill, or if you’d like to cut down on the hassle of cooking in your space, you can order room service to your residence.
The Estates at Carpenters is a not-for-profit Life Plan Community offering independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care and rehabilitation. We provide a full continuum of care and a unique advantage to Lakeland and surrounding Winter Haven, Florida, area retirees. Come visit our community near the renowned Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center.