Is it Time to Downsize? Here's How to Get Started

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Real Estate

Article contributed by: Michael Longsdon

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Downsizing one's home and possessions can be a great way to reduce stress, limit clutter, and take
control over your space during your golden years. That being said, it can be hard to know what to
get rid of. If you are considering moving, you also need to think about packing, selling your home,
and finding the perfect new place. If you want to make the decluttering and moving process a
breeze, keep reading.


What to Donate, Trash, and Keep

A smooth decluttering and moving process starts with dividing belongings into three categories:
donate, trash, and keep. Decluttering is especially important if you are moving to a smaller house.
To get used to the process, start by decluttering one area of your home. With each item, ask
yourself, "Does this positively impact my life?" If the answer is no, there is a good chance the
item can be donated to a loved one or to charity. Try to focus on utility rather than
sentimentality. With every item you evaluate, ask yourself how often you use it, and iif you want
to pack it up and move it. When you find a sentimental item, consider taking a photo of it. The
memory will remain, but the bulky item will be removed from your moving inventory. If you do not
think a particular item would be valuable for another person, it might be time to trash it. If you
are unsure about an item's functionality, consider putting a "free to
a good home" advertisement online. After a declutteriing purge, you will likely feel liberated and
ready to take on the moving process.

Choosing a Home

In your golden years, you will probably appreciate having a smaller home that requires less
upkeep, leaving you free to pursue other hobbies. Many seniors find it difficult to maintain a
large garden, tackle labor-intensive DIY projects, and deal with household chores. If this sounds
like you, a smaller home might be a perfect solutions. Not only will you have fewer household
duties, you may also have more money to pursue what you love. If you anticipate needing additional
living assistance, downsizing can be a good way to prepare yourself and your family for a
transition into a retirement complex. You may be surprised at how a minimal space frees up time,
energy, and financial resources.


Remodeling Your New Home

As we we age, there is a greater need to modify our homes for accessibility. For example, you may
want to install grab bars in the bathroom (at a typical cost of $85- $100), a wheelchair ramp, or
slip-resistant flooring. The bathroom and kitchen are the two rooms
most likely to need to be modified. The price for a kitchen or bathroom modification can vary
widely depending on what you want to have changed. Adding lever-style sink faucets will usually
cost a couple hundred dollars, whereas lowering kitchen countertops can run you around $18,000,
depending on how much counter space you have. The price also depends on your location and the costs
of contractors in your area. For example, the cost to remodel a bathroom in Boulder is between
$5,000 and $11,705.

Downsizing, organizing, and moving don't have to be overwhelming or stressful tasks. With a bit of
planning and organization, you will be in your new home before you know it. Taking a few steps now
can help ensure your golden years are relaxing and fun. Best of luck on your