If you or a loved one is thinking about moving, you might be considering downsizing. Smaller homes are easier to live in and maintain. However, with a smaller home comes less space; you’ll need to decide what furniture and belongings to take with you or dispose of by donating, selling, or giving away.
According to the National Association of Senior Move Managers, older adults who are moving typically have not relocated in 30 to 50 years. Moving is a big decision and a tough transition, and even more so if you are downsizing in the midst of it. So you might feel a bit overwhelmed considering where to start and how to get ready for a move.
Additionally, you may be dealing with a health issue that makes sorting through and packing your belongings even more of a challenge. Fortunately, you can work with a senior relocation and downsizing specialist to help you. This can lighten your load, preventing extraneous stress as the moving day approaches.
Get Started Early
One of the most important things to remember is that it’s never too early to start preparing for a move. The Long-Term Living Association, an organization of specialists who help seniors with financial, health care, relocation and other issues, recommends starting this process as long as 12 weeks before moving. The first step in this should be deciding which belongings you want to keep.
While starting 12 weeks prior to a move might seem like a long time, you will need to go through all your personal items, including furniture, clothing, books, appliances, tools, and other possessions. You can decide to:
- Pack the item.
- Donate an item to a charity.
- Share it with a family member or friend.
You should set aside items of personal value or familial significance. If you’re emotionally attached to something but don’t use it any more, you could take a picture of the possession, save the photo to your computer, or make an album of these precious pieces.
Another option is having an estate sale or an online auction. However, it’s best if you’ve already moved out of your house before an estate sale and that you hire someone to run the event. A buyer is less likely to buy items if the owner is present. Also, the home will need to be set up with tables and supplies to stage an effective estate sale.
Make A Plan
Another important factor in deciding what to take with you is how much space you’ll have in your new home. If you’re moving to a smaller place, then you’ll need to take with you only what will fit in your new residence. It’s a good idea to measure your furniture, draw up a floor plan, and make a layout of where your furniture will go. This can help you figure out if you need to get rid of certain pieces of furniture.
Once you start the process of selling your home, buying a new place, packing and moving, you may feel quite stressed and anxious. These feelings are natural and not surprising considering all of the changes you’re experiencing.
Sometimes, just having the listening ear of a family member or a close friend can really help. You can also seek outside help from professionals. The Long-Term Living Association has a team of experts from across the aging spectrum available to provide support and assistance during this time of change.
Keep In Mind
If you’re thinking about selling your home and have to downsize during a move, remember:
- Try to start the moving process 12 weeks before your move date.
- Decide what you want to keep based on where you are moving and what’s important to you.
- If you need help, reach out to your family, friends, or a relocation specialist.
The Long-Term Living Association (LTLA) has specialists who can help you sell your home, downsize during a move, or move to a new residence. You can visit their website at longtermliving.org or call 1-800-868-1193 to talk with a specialist or set up an appointment.
Experts Across the Aging Spectrum