Are you feeling that there's too much unused space in your home, such as empty bedrooms and unused recreation rooms? Do you no longer feel like putting the time and effort into maintaining your property, or having concerns about accessibility, entranceways, staircases, and fixtures?
These are just some of the many reasons that you may be considering downsizing.
Maintenance-free living, being closer to family, an improved quality of life, accessibility, and more freedom, are just some of the reasons downsizing can be a great idea for many older adults, especially those heading into retirement.
The problem is that the idea of downsizing can feel overwhelming, emotional and maybe even intimidating for those considering it. And that’s no surprise – there is a lot to deliberate and even more to accomplish when you make the final decision to downsize and relocate.
Fortunately, there are measures that you can take to ease this challenging step, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of moving with less stress. Here are five 5 tips that will make the process easier.
1. Don’t Rush
The needs to downsize often comes at a difficult point in one’s life, so it’s important that you do not rush. Downsizing isn’t something that should be done in as short a time as possible. Give yourself enough time to be thoughtful about your decisions and ensure that nothing is missed.
The decision to downsize often follows the loss of a spouse, personal mobility or the result of a major health incident. This is an emotionally fragile time and is not the time to be burdened by thinking about your downsizing options. While there is much to look forward to after you have downsized, the experience can also be emotional. Give yourself time to express those emotions so that when moving day arrives, you are ready to take on your next adventure.
Planning early is essential. Even if you’re not planning to downsize in the next month or even year, do your research early and build a plan so that, when the time comes, you are ready to take action.
2. Sort Early
Sorting your belongings is the first step to downsizing and starting early can make the process less daunting. To get started, focus on the easy decisions, such as duplicate items and belongings you no longer use. Go through storage areas like your basement, attic, or closet in the spare room, and designate items into one of four categories – donate, sell, toss or keep.
We advise only throwing out what is true garbage, as well as donating everyday clothes and shoes (not nicer clothes), as most other items are likely saleable in an auction setting.
Eventually you will need to move onto the more important possessions – family heirlooms, cherished gifts, and items that remind you of the happiest times in your life, etc. Starting off with the simpler choices you can help make this step a little easier.
3. Consider Your New Space
If you have already chosen a new home, take the time to consider what will fit and what will need to be relocated. Take lots of pictures, consider the amount of storage and measure the space if you are able to.
This way, you can ensure you only keep the furniture and belongings you need and have space for.
4. Be Organized
Organization is the key to any smooth transition, especially moving. Maintain a checklist of tasks that need to be complete, from packing up the last of your belongings to changing your address and moving services, such as cable and telephone.
Most importantly, be sure your boxes are labelled for your new space. This will help ensure important items are accessible and will streamline the unpacking process.
5. Consider Downsizing Services
From appraising contents and helping you sort, pack, move and unload your belongings to finding you a new home and selling your current home or property, integrated real estate and downsizing services can be the perfect solution to ensure a smooth move.
Downsizing is a labour-intensive task. With the right team, you can make the process enjoyable (even liberating), while you stay in complete control and in the decision-making role.
At Gordon's, we work with you to ensure your transition is handled with unconditional care, professionally managing all of the details for you with complete transparency.