What Seniors Need to Know About
Downsizing by Mike Longsdon
According to Forbes, many people make the decision to downsize because it decreases overall
housing expenses and can free up home equity for retirement. There are a lot of things to
prepare for: finding the best home for you, getting rid of excess stuff, and creating a stress-free
move. Here are a few things you need to know about downsizing.
Finding the Right Home
1. Research the market thoroughly
Before you buy or sell, do your research on pricing. Accurate and useful real estate data can be
accessed from many different resources online. Look up how much houses sold for in your
current area, as well as housing prices in the area you’re hoping to move to. This can help you
figure out the perfect price to put on your house.
2. Highlight your needs for a low-maintenance house
One of the biggest reasons for downsizing is that your current home is too much to handle. Look
for a house that will be easier to care for. Low-maintenance features like easy-to-clean flooring
and countertops, as well as streamlined utility systems, can make aging in place a lot easier.
3. Budget for your new location
Be careful about the pricing of wherever you plan to move to next. Even in areas that are
somewhat close geographically, the cost of a house can differ by hundreds of thousands of
dollars. Also, remember to budget for neighborhood amenities, including transportation,
groceries, utilities, and neighborhood fees.
Packing and Decluttering
1. Declutter by categories
Due to your new house’s smaller size, now’s the time to get rid of unnecessary items in your
current home. Cleanup experts recommend decluttering by categories instead of going by room,
as it prevents redundant categorization as a person moves around their house. Some
categories include clothes, furniture, books and documents, food, and extras.
2. Take pictures and videos of your old home
If you’re feeling nostalgic about your home and struggling with saying goodbye, take some
pictures of your rooms or do a video tour of your home. During the tour, talk about the memories
you had in each room. You can also upload these pictures online. Cloud storage allows you to
securely save all of your pictures and documents on a remote server and access your old files
whenever you want using your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
3. Pack important stuff last
It’s easy to lose important stuff during a move. Set aside your important documents, papers, and
other items that you need to use until moving day. Then, pack them the day before you leave.
Making a Smooth Move
1. Hire professional movers
Moving day can be a highly stressful event. To make it easier, hire professional movers who can
help you with all of your items. The national average cost for hiring professional movers is $979,
so budget accordingly. It’s worth it to feel some peace on a stressful day like this one.
2. Pick a good deadline and hit it
It’s tempting to avoid packing and preparing for your moving day. Give yourself a deadline you
know you can reach. Deadlines can boost productivity, decrease stress, and get things done.
Tell a friend or family member to stay accountable, and work on it at least 30 minutes a day.
3. Set the stage for sustainable comfort
Your new home’s floor plan will likely be different that what you are used to. Before you get
settled in, take the time to position furniture and belongings in the most logical location. A home
stager can help you make the best choices and strategically design each room to fit your
Downsizing can reduce stress, and some people even find that it is good for their relationships.
Make sure you research the market and pick a good selling price. Find a house that’s just low
maintenance enough for you, and plan ahead for moving day. It’s your new home, and
preparing properly will make it even better when you start settling in.