Moving After Retirement
As you reach retirement age, you may begin to think about a different home. Perhaps your kids have moved out and started their own families. You don’t need the extra bedrooms and cleaning. Or, maybe your parents are reaching that point, and you are helping them make decisions.
Moving after a certain age typically means downsizing to a smaller home that is easier and safer to maintain. That frequently means decluttering, which could also involve getting rid of things that have tremendous sentimental value. It might also involve making some tough planning and logistical decisions.
Let’s take a look at the steps you will need to follow for a smooth downsizing during your golden years.
Planning Your New Home for Retirement
Once you decide where your new home will be, you need to plan your move. Look at your new home. Will all of your household items fit? If your new floor plan will not allow for many of your items you will need to downsize.
Think about where your belongings will go and their size and weight. If there are items that are too heavy for you to move on your own you will want to line up assistance.
Sometimes you will be able to ask a friend or family member for help, but often you will need to hire movers. If this is the case, planning weeks in advance can help you cut costs and help you plan accordingly.
How to Downsize
Downsizing can be a tedious, emotional process. Knowing when to start can ease much of the anxiety. Most retirement age adults downsize for economic reasons, but there are other benefits like easier maintenance.
When you downsize, you reduce the number of items you own. It reduces the amount you have to move (or pay someone else to move). Choosing what to let go of and what to keep is the tricky part.
Start early. Develop a sorting system and sort through your belongings to weed out items you no longer need. Here are some tips to help you downsize like a pro.
Start small: There may be a few things that you’ve been thinking of getting rid of—start with those. Throw away or donate things that have little emotional attachment and work your way to the more important items. If you start in your laundry room or linen closet you will ease yourself into the process and get used to letting go of things.
Toss duplicate items: If you have more than one of anything, pick one and get rid of the other. You will find that spaces like the kitchen have duplicate items you have accumulated over the years. Let go of the ones you will no longer need and watch your clutter disappear!
Reduce your collections: If you have a lot of items you have been collecting over the years it can be tough to get rid of them. Remember that your new space will not have as much room and these collections can end up as clutter. Instead of moving them, pick a couple of favorites to keep and take high-resolution pictures of the rest. Then you can remember your treasures without them taking up space.
Eliminate whole rooms: If you are moving from a five-bedroom house to a two-bedroom house, eliminate the two rooms you won’t have in the new house. Almost everything in those spaces will need to go, so it shouldn’t be hard to decide what to get rid of. You can even pick out the things you do want and then donate, pass down or toss the rest.
Make yes or no piles—no maybes: Oftentimes a “maybe” becomes a “keep”. If you’re really serious about downsizing your living situation then you will need to be efficient about letting things go.
Pass down special items: There will undoubtedly be valuable items or items of sentimental value that you will not be able to fit in your new home. Don’t be afraid to pass these down to your younger relatives who might have more space in their homes. It’s never too early to start giving legacy gifts, so ask your relatives what they might want!
Allow yourself time to reminisce: While you don’t want to drag this process out too long, you will also want to allow yourself a reasonable amount of time to think about the memories these items might dredge up. It’s OK to pause and reminisce, just know when it’s time to let go and get the job done.
Moving Tips for Senior Citizens
Now that you’ve decided where you’re going to move, made a plan, purged unnecessary items, and are emotionally prepared for your relocation… it’s time to move! You will need to decide is how much of the move you will want to do yourself. If you haven’t hired movers yet, you will want to do so a few weeks in advance.
- Pack Room by Room
- Take Pictures
- Don’t Lift Heavy Objects
- Keep Pathways Clear During the Move
- Pack a Suitcase of Essentials
Hire a Moving Company
This may be one of the most essential steps. Even if you’ve downsized your belongings significantly, you will still have a few heavy or fragile items that need to move.
Professional movers will have the equipment and skills necessary to ensure your items make it safely to the new home.
Be sure to do your research and compare prices. Make sure that you hire a company that has high customer rating and has a reputation of transparency and integrity. It’s best if you do this several weeks ahead of time so that you aren’t rushing last minute to find the perfect moving company.
Your first call should be to Alliance Relocation Services. Let us give you a complimentary quote and show you how we can make your relocation a smooth as possible.