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A Guide To Downsizing In Retirement
Downsizing in your golden years can seem like a difficult decision to make. It often involves getting rid of a large portion of the possessions you have accumulated over the years, as well as saying goodbye to a beloved family home. However, downsizing has several financial, logistical and health benefits and can help you live a simpler, stress-free life. If you have finally decided to take the leap, here are the next steps.
Step 1: Finding The Right Home
Your new home should allow you to age comfortably and safely. It should be accessible for someone with mobility problems – even if you don’t have these at the moment. AARP’s HomeFit Guide is a great document showing you the features to look out for and the modifications you might need to make.
Of course, some people prefer to simply opt for a house in a senior living community. These homes will already be designed with senior comfort in mind and come with the benefit of an active social life. Forbes outlines the questions you should be asking yourself to figure out whether this is a good option for you.
Step 2: Decluttering
Now for the hard part: Try to detach yourself from your possessions and think of them objectively. It’s OK to keep some useless things you simply love, but you need to ask yourself whether you are overestimating the emotional value of some items. These tips for downsizing by Apartment Guide can help you.
If there are larger items that you just can’t bear to part with, but which won’t fit in your new home, look up deals on self-storage facilities in your area. This sounds like an expensive option, but the average price of a self-storage unit booked in Columbia Falls, Montana, over the past six months is just $35.
Pack items as you declutter, leaving out only the things you will need in the weeks leading up to the move. You can check out these great packing tips to get the job done like a pro.
Step 3: The Move
Make sure you get help on your moving day, whether it’s from family members or professionals. Make the day as stress-free as possible by planning ahead and staying organized. Review this moving checklist if you need help.
If you have a dog, make sure to keep him in a separate enclosed room throughout the process. Dogs can sense that something is happening and will feel anxious at the upheaval, so it’s best to shelter them in order to avoid accidents or them getting loose. If you don’t have one, a comfortable and high-quality dog crate (for less than $30) is a good idea.
Step 4: Settling In
Don’t worry if it takes a few days or weeks to feel at home in the new place. After all, you probably felt the same way when you moved into the house you just left. If you have moved near friends or family, you can start enjoying your time together right away. If not, you will have to make the effort to meet new people – don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it seems.
Sign up for some local classes and activities, search for a local online group for seniors, or simply go around the neighborhood introducing yourself. If you are shy, this article by Stitch has some great advice on overcoming those anxieties to find new friends as a senior.
Moving is always stressful, and moving as a senior even more so. However, downsizing may just be the best decision you make in your retirement. Stripping your life down to the bare essentials can be incredibly freeing (not to mention inexpensive), while a change in scenery can open up doors for exciting new experiences and friendships in your golden years.
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Article Written and submitted by Guest Blogger Michael Longsdon, [email protected]