Downsizing can be a tough process for anyone, but especially for seniors who find themselves with large homes and no longer have children at home to fill up the rooms. More and more are tackling the huge job of downsizing their living spaces. In fact, about six percent of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 move each year, according to the Over-50 Council of the National Association of Home Builders.
There are several reasons seniors want or need to downsize. They could be planning a move to assisted living, moving into a smaller, more manageable home or living out of a motor home so they can travel more.
The following tips for seniors are designed to help you take the plunge into a more simplified lifestyle:
• Get rid of the guilt factor - Many feel they are the "keepers" of their family heirlooms and have a hard time getting rid of items which they no longer have room. This is the number one reason seniors have a hard time downsizing. Look for other family members who would like to have some of these items now. This is especially true if they are just being stored and not used. This way the person they really want to have them will definitely be the one to inherit the item, and the joy that brings to the recipient can be enjoyed by the giver.
• Consider donating items to charities if family members do not want the items because of their own space limitations or for other reasons. Another alternative are consignment shops, where items can be sold with a percentage of the cost going to the shop. eBay, Craig's list and other places on the internet can be options for ways of selling items.
• Paring down items before the move makes the process easier at moving time. It not only saves space but it saves time and money.
• Find movers specializing in senior needs - Moving is stressful for everyone, but some moving companies specialize in making the transition easier for seniors, so it is worth the time to fine a 'mover match.’ There are moving companies with senior-friendly services, such as hanging items on the walls for clients unable to do so themselves, handling the change of address and utilities, setting up electronics at a new home, and much more.
• Reassess every five to ten years - As seniors get older, modern appliances or high shelving can become more difficult to use or simply unnecessary. By evaluating and reassessing needs every five to ten years helps in two ways: (1) it helps to avoid collecting clutter and keeping things no longer needed, and (2) it assures that the home or space is still working for their lifestyle.
• Everyday activities and household chores can be made easier - This can be a simple process by adjusting the set-up in their homes. Keep two to three sets of dinnerware where it is easy to reach instead of keeping everything in out-of-reach cabinetry. Everyday activities and household chores can be made easier just by adjusting the setup in their homes.
Above and beyond these reasons, spending so much time cleaning and maintaining a large home as you get older may not seem like the best way to use your time and energy. More and more people are choosing a ranch style house so stairs won’t be an issue, and make life simpler and easier. You’ve worked hard all your life it’s time you took it a bit easier and spent your time on the things you love to do!