Many seniors have spent decades in their large family homes, but as the years go by, they find that they can no longer justify the expense and upkeep required to maintain these properties. Therefore, downsizing begins to look like a very attractive option. With that in mind, Care Homes Today shares how to declutter your house, sell your property, and get ready for moving day!
Saying Goodbye to Belongings
The Spruce recommends decluttering your home room by room and separating items into different categories. For example, you may need to fix certain items, while other belongings will have to be designated as trash. You might also come across belongings that are still in good condition, yet you no longer have any use for them. You can give these items away to your loved ones, or you could donate them to a local charity.
Selling Your Property
To buy a new home, you’ll likely have to sell your current home first. However, according to Redfin, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for home sellers to connect with eager buyers. In fact, some people have chosen to postpone house-hunting to comply with stay-at-home orders.
However, it’s still possible to sell your home during the pandemic or take steps to set yourself up for a successful sale in the next few months. Work with your estate agent to film a virtual tour of your house so that potential buyers can “explore” each room, and consider hosting live tours on social media so that people can ask questions about your home. Put extra effort into a virtual photo gallery of your home to show off its best features!
Consider Senior Communities
Before looking at new homes, think about whether a senior community would be a good fit for you. Because of COVID-19, senior communities may not be accepting new residents right now, but it doesn’t hurt to look! If you’re interested in living in a typical 55-plus community, you can likely find a small house that would fit your preferences at a very reasonable price.
Buying a New Home
If you’ve chosen to look for a new house outside of a senior community, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind during your search. Talk to your estate agent about looking for a house where it will be easy for you to use a mobility aid if necessary and avoid fall risks. Even if you are in good health, it is better to enjoy your golden years in an accessible home with features like hardwood floors, a stairway lift or elevator, and wide doorways and entrances. Be prepared to take virtual tours rather than attending in-person showings to avoid catching COVID-19. And be cautious about purchasing a home “as is.” These homes typically have major problems, including pest infestations, structural damage, mold, and asbestos.
Packing Up and Moving
Packing for a move is very different from packing for a vacation! Business Insider recommends a few tricks to simplify the process, such as wrapping breakable items in clothing to cushion them, putting cords and screws in sandwich bags for visibility, and packing an overnight bag with items you’ll need right away when you move in.
Attempting to handle all of the tasks associated with moving by yourself will create more stress, so hire reliable movers to ensure that your moving day goes smoothly. Contact a few different local moving companies to get price quotes, and keep in mind that the cost of services will depend on a few factors, including the distance to your new home, the weight of your belongings, and even the day of the week you plan to move. Inquire about each company’s safety protocols for preventing the spread of COVID-19 before making a final decision.
Even if you know that downsizing is the right choice for you, sorting through your belongings, house hunting, and packing up to move is time-consuming and occasionally exhausting. But downsizing also eliminates sources of stress from your life. When you open the door to your new, smaller home, you’ll feel confident that you made a smart decision for your retirement.