December 14, 2018 | Alex Kursman

3 Steps to Simplify the Process of Downsizing in Your Senior Years

With the baby boomer generation approaching retirement, more and more people are thinking about their future and deciding to downsize to a smaller home. Downsizing in your senior years has many advantages. For one, it can be a smart move to make financially. Las Vegas homes are currently valued at $273,000, meaning if you sell your large property for a smaller, less expensive home, you can pocket a hefty profit to pad your retirement nest egg. Downsizing is also a great way to make sure your home will be suitable to stay in as you age.

Even with these advantages, downsizing isn’t always easy. These steps will simplify the process and help make it a smooth move.

Step 1 - Deciding What Goes with You

If you’re moving to a smaller home, you probably won’t be able to take everything you own. When it comes to the practical, everyday stuff, think carefully about what you need and will use, as opposed to what really isn’t necessary to have in a smaller home. Give careful consideration to larger items, like furniture, too. You may have entire rooms of furniture that you won’t need, and you also want to consider how your furniture will fit in your new space. Once you buy a house, be sure to measure each room so you can determine what will work in the space and what won’t.

For many people, sorting through their more meaningful possessions is an emotional process. Don’t try to rush through this, and enlist the help of friends and family members as much as possible. If you’re the caregiver of a parent who is making this transition, Daily Caring recommends taking the time to share memories as you look at keepsakes and mementos. If you or your loved one still have items that won’t fit in the new home, don’t make any rash decisions about letting things go. Instead, it may be worthwhile to look for the best deals on self-storage units near where you live.

If you're looking for a cheap 10'x10' unit in Las Vegas, US Storage Centers - Las Vegas at 3375 Glen Avenue has the best value at $58.50 for a unit.

Step 2 - Finding Your New Home

If you’re choosing to downsize, you’re probably looking for fewer square feet than you currently have, but do you know what other features you want or need? For example, ask yourself whether you can get by with a one-bedroom home, or whether you need enough space for family and friends to visit. Do you want a yard, or just a small garden?

Besides these basic requirements, you should also consider features that will make the home safe and accessible later on in your senior years. According to The Washington Post, the top home features for aging in place include a walk-in shower, grab bars, and having a main-floor master suite. Some of these could be added later, like the grab bars, but you should find a home with the bigger things that are harder to change. Think about location too, because it can be a matter of convenience and can even save you money. For example, Time suggests that living in a walkable area may mean you could sell a vehicle.

Step 3 - Packing and Moving

When the time comes to pack everything up, the most important thing is to have a plan. The more organized you are with packing, the easier it will be to unpack and set up your new home. Be sure to have plenty of boxes and other moving supplies - and label everything! The easiest way to pack is to go one room at a time. You may also want to start with a room that isn’t used frequently so it’s easier to maintain your daily life while packing.

All the lifting involved with packing and moving can be hard on your body, so be mindful of your movements to prevent injury. It’s also a good idea to get help with moving, whether from someone you know or by hiring a moving company.

Moving is a major undertaking, so you need to go into it with support and a solid plan of action. This may be an emotional transition, but your careful planning will pay off when you’re happily settled in your new home.

Michael Longsdon is the creator of ElderFreedom.net, which advocates for the rights and support of seniors.

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