Spring is hopefully right around the corner and with that brings a fresh start and new beginnings. For seniors, that might mean making the move from the family home to a smaller living space.
Life is a journey and transitions are life’s crossroads. Couples buy the big house when they start their families and fill it with a lifetime of memories. But then the kids fly the coop and now that same house is too big. There’s the general maintenance – that large lawn still needs to be mowed every week, walks need shoveling in the winter, rooms that aren’t used still need to be cleaned and the list goes on and on. Maybe the stairs are becoming hard to manage or the cost of maintaining the home is increasing.
Moving is a high-stress life event when it comes to tackling the organizing, packing, discarding and cleaning, not to mention the actual moving day. It can be a stressful and tolling process both emotionally and physically. But it’s better to take a proactive approach. Moving is hard at any age, and it only becomes more difficult as we grow older. Downsizing can be bittersweet and there is bound to be mixed emotions about leaving. However, it does offer many benefits.
Benefits of Downsizing:
1. De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter
Many people have lived in the same house for decades and during that time, it’s easy to accumulate a lot of “stuff.” Downsizing will get rid of the clutter!
2. Money, money, money
There can be financial advantages to leaving a larger home behind. Eliminating or reducing a mortgage can have huge benefits in addition to a reduction in property taxes, insurance, maintenance bills and utilities.
3. The right floorplan
A larger home can be great when you have a family to fill it, but this type of space doesn’t make much sense for an older couple or a senior living alone. Consider a bungalow to eliminate stairs or look for a floor plan that has the master bedroom on the first floor.
4. Less maintenance
Less house typically means less maintenance. Reducing daily chores and maintenance will free up more time for leisure activities, spending time with family or just taking it easy! Traveling can also be less of hassle when you need to leave your home for extended amounts of time, especially if you downsize to an apartment or condominium unit from a stand-alone house.
The design of the home is important, but where it is located makes a big difference. Downsizing can be a great way to move closer to family. There is an increasing number of subdivisions exclusively for senior residents. These neighborhoods can be a great environment to meet new people who are in the same stage of life.
There’s always a right time for everything. Making the decision to downsize doesn’t have to be stressful, sad, or scary. It’s about having a happier, simpler life with less clutter and stress!