Thinking about downsizing? Here’s some tips that will help make the process go more smoothly
Senior citizens sometime feel the need to downsize to a condominium, townhome, or patio home. The kids are gone from home, the big house is getting harder to maintain, and from a financial perspective, many senior home owners can make a large profit in metro Denver’s current real estate market.
However, after decades spent in the same house, the idea of packing and moving can feel overwhelming both physically and emotionally. So here’s a little advice or suggestions that will help make the process of downsizing go more smoothly:
What matters most?Ask yourself what belongings you absolutely cannot part with and make a list, keeping in mind that you will not have as much space as you’re used to. Try to keep the list relatively short. You can also determine what items can be transferred to a relative’s home for safekeeping.
Secure treasured possessions.Downsizing and moving can be hectic. Putting a home up for sale also adds another layer of complexity to the process. It might help to rent a storage space or borrow the use of a family member’s garage or basement to place treasured items in during this time. This helps eliminate the risk of something happening to those items. It also makes the house look more spacious to potential buyers.
Create a floorplan for the new home.If you have decided to downsize to a senior living community or condominium, get the dimensions for each room. Then measure each piece of furniture that you want to take with you. Use these measurements to create a room-by-room floorplan of your new home on graph paper or by using a free online tool. This will also show you just how many of your belongings will, or won’t, fit into the new space.
Start early and take your time. When a senior has lived in their home for many years, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the very idea of downsizing. People often feel paralyzed and procrastinate about getting started. Doing so can make the process even more difficult. Starting early, even before you begin to search for a senior living community gives you the advantage of time. This makes it less stressful for all involved. It also gives you an opportunity to reminisce over old family photos and mementoes as you work your way through the house.
Create a plan for disposing of unwanted items. Figuring out what to do with no longer needed items can take time. While you most likely have a variety of non-profit organizations in your community that welcome donations, it will probably take a few phone calls to sort out what they will take. Older electronics can sometimes be more difficult to dispose of. Some charities offer pick-up services if you have larger pieces of furniture to donate or multiple boxes of smaller items. Finally, remember to ask each charity for a receipt so you can deduct these donations on your tax returns.
Where and how to start downsizing. Now sit down together to create a plan for where and how to get started. Some have found it helps to first go through the whole house and de-clutter. Once that is done, you can start a room-by-room approach to really dig in and pack up.
Senior move managers can help. If you need professional advice to help you through this process, there are many Broker Associates with RE/MAX Masters Millennium who have years of experience helping seniors make the transition to a low-maintenance or no-maintenance lifestyle. Check out their profiles online at www.coloradomasters.com.