Downsizing begins when you make the decision…or, actually, the decisions. Downsizing not only involves getting rid of clutter, reducing your possessions, and minimizing your residential footprint, it begins with deciding where you want to live.
There are multiple options:
- A smaller house or condo
- An apartment
- An adult living community
There are benefits to each.
A smaller house or condominium requires less maintenance. Depending on the price and value of the house, you may pay less in property taxes, too.
If you choose an apartment, you usually have no maintenance and no property taxes.
Advantages of Adult Living Communities
Some adult living communities may offer the option of purchase or rental. Many include utilities, maintenance and housekeeping in their fees. Most offer on-site laundry facilities, prepared meals, and transportation to planned activities. And a few include wi-fi, cable TV, and monthly linen service.
Another advantage of an adult living community is that maintenance staff will help you hang mirrors and pictures when you arrive. They also usually have programs to introduce you to other members of the community, as well as show you the amenities and features.
Life care communities provide the security that you won’t have to move, even if your health deteriorates. They offer independent living, assisted living for those who need a little help, and skilled nursing for those who need full-time nursing care.
Senior housing providers have access to many resources to help with the transition to a smaller home.
Once you’ve decided where to move comes the more complicated task of how to move.
Here are six recommendations to make downsizing more delightful.
1. Use a checklist, such as the one on the Family Caregiver Alliance website.
2. Use colored stickers to organize your belongings into four categories: Keep, give to family, donate, or trash.
3. Make sure the items you keep will fit into your new home or you’ve rented a storage unit for them.
4. Find a reputable mover or responsible family member to help.
5. Work smarter, not harder.
- Don’t do the moving yourself.
- Don’t agonize over every box.
- Stay out of the way.
6. Take care of yourself. Eat right. Sleep well. Don’t stress.