As we make our way through life, we tend to collect things. Over time, all those precious items need a place to live. To that end, many seniors find themselves looking for an apartment that requires less maintenance or an assisted living facility to take care of some of their daily challenges. If you’re one of those seniors, you’re probably excited to start decluttering.
Ready to make the move to a smaller space or senior living community? Here are our top downsizing tips for seniors.
#1 Look For Accessibility
It’s vital to look ahead when shopping for a new place to live, regardless of your age. But it’s especially important for seniors. You want a space that’s going to be comfy, accessible, and full of the amenities that help your quality of life. That’s why you should look for the following features when viewing prospective properties for your smaller home:
- Wheelchair access
- Low cupboards and appliances
Choosing a place with these amenities allows you to grow with your new home, even if you won’t be taking advantage of these accessibility features right away!
#2 Start Early
By starting early and planning ahead, you can take your time during the move. This means you’ll help ease the process. See our downsizing home checklist to get started on the downsizing process and help prep for personal storage needs.
Giving yourself as much time as possible for packing has several benefits, including:
- Staying energized – When you start the moving process early, you can spread the work over a longer period. That might mean half as many trips up the stairs per day, or less heavy lifting. This means you’ll be energized throughout the entire process!
- Focusing on your resolve – If you’re one of the many Americans who have spent decades in one house, learning to say goodbye is a wonderful milestone to surpass. From birthdays to wedding receptions to Christmas dinners, memories linger in every room. Allow yourself ample time to reminisce as you pack—you’ll be glad you did.
The amount of time you allot for the moving process is up to you, and it’ll depend on your circumstances. With that said, beginning at least three to six months in advance is ideal.
#3 Be Mindful of Your New Space
As you decide what to take with you and what to store away during the downsizing process, think about what your new living space will look like. Compare it with your current home to determine the essentials. Maybe you’re moving from a large house into a small apartment. Be sure to check out our moving from house to apartment tips.
For example, if you’re going from a three-bedroom to a two-bedroom, you may want to consolidate your bedding, pillows, and nightstands. Only the best quality items should make the cut.
For those moving into an assisted living facility, consider what you’ll need to take with you in terms of kitchenware and supplies. Will there be staff cooking your meals? Will you be cleaning your room, or will someone else be?
By envisioning your life in your new home, you’ll be able to narrow down your list of what to bring.
#4 Ask For Help
Let’s face it: moving at any age requires some extra helping hands. That’s why you deserve some help with your downsizing! Asking for help is the go-to option for a move of any size, done at any age.
One possibility is to hire a moving company. There are dozens of services that will come in and help you pack, clean, and move.
The other option is to have friends and family help out. Inviting loved ones to assist you won’t just speed up the process—it’s also an opportunity to spend a weekend together, relive good times, and even present your kids with the odd family heirloom.
#5 Think About Functionality
The average U.S. house is around 2500 square feet, while the average apartment is 882 (though these numbers vary by location). Thus, being resourceful is key to a successful downsizing. When you’re deciding what furniture to take with you, think about all the different ways you can use certain items. Perhaps your TV stand can also hold your books? Or maybe your couch will double as a guest bed?
If you can afford new furniture, you may also want to consider multi-functional furniture, such as ottomans that serve as extra storage space. Keeping functionality in mind helps you make the most of your smaller space without sacrificing convenience or comfort.
Take Advantage of Self Storage
Despite all the tips we’ve mentioned, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to part with your cherished things or sentimental items just because you’re moving to a smaller place. Moving some of your extra belongings into a self-storage unit allows you to free up space without parting with antiques, collections or treasured items.
While self storage is valuable as a permanent storage solution, you can also make use of a temporary storage unit. A storage unit can hold your possessions during your transition to downsize to a new home, especially if the house sells before the apartment is ready.
At Price Self Storage, we know all about downsizing for seniors. We can set you up with the right size storage space for your needs—permanent or temporary. We offer zero deposits, flexible lease terms, and a wide range of different storage options.
Call today so we can help you Live Uncluttered (R)!
NewHomeSource. Just Right: How Much Square Footage Fits Your Family? www.newhomesource.com/learn/how-much-square-footage-fits-your-family/
Home Stratosphere. What is the Average Size of Apartments in the USA? www.homestratosphere.com/average-size-apartment/