December 1, 2019

Tips for Downsizing Your Home

Have you been avoiding regular home maintenance because it has just become an overwhelming job? Does your home feel empty with all of the unused space? Are you putting money into your house that you would rather use for travel? It may be time to consider downsizing. 

Moving is never an enjoyable experience, but with these tips, you can leave the stress behind and begin a new chapter of living retirement to the fullest. The British Columbia Senior Living Association knows downsizing is no easy task and that it requires a lot of effort and focus. While the action can be difficult, we would like to give you a few helpful tips to make downsizing easier!

New Perspective: Inspire Yourself

Changing your perspective can be just the push you need. Retirement is your well-deserved break to enjoy life to the fullest, so don’t let the idea of downsizing get in the way of that. Marie Kondo, a famous organising consultant, has built her method simply on changing her clients’ perspectives on downsizing. Asking yourself questions like:

  • Do these shoes bring you joy or disappointment? 
  • Do these knickknacks bring you joy or anxiety? 
Bring a different perspective to the things taking up space in your home, and it will help you remove items that are unused or unwanted. 

Being Prepared: Avoiding Bumps

The best way to ease anxiety and avoid bumps in the road is to be prepared. Talking financials may be a drag, but getting it over with will reassure any decisions you make moving forward.  Work with a financial planner to prepare for unexpected costs like real estate commissions, land transfer taxes, legal fees, and moving costs. Don’t forget the fees of your financial planner and realtor as well. To give you an idea of the breakdown, MoneySense does a fantastic job of calculating examples assuming realtor costs range between one to seven percent.

Local Support: Hiring Local Assistance

Who said you have to do this alone? Investing in professional support is worth every penny if it eases your workload. Ask your friends, stop by your community centre, or check out an online resource to see if anyone knows of any local professional organizers, junk removal services, or reputable moving companies that you can trust. Leave the hard work to the experts, and let yourself sit back and relax.

The Big Picture: Starting Off Small

Thinking about the whole picture of moving can be very overwhelming. Try taking baby steps like tackling a closet or room at a time. Leslie Wilshire at Les Clutter Services recommends even tackling an hour at a time. Commit yourself to an hour and go from there. You’ll be surprised as you end up extending the hour as you get in the groove! 

Helping Hands: Ask Family and Friends

Never be afraid or too proud to ask for help. Try including your family, friends, and neighbours in the process; you’d be surprised by their reaction. Allowing yourself to ask for help is endearing and will give you an opportunity to repay the favour and spend time with the people you love. Not only will you get a chance to make memories, but it will also create great opportunities for your possessions to go to homes you trust and help avoid accidentally throwing out something that means a lot to someone. 

Ingenuity: Get Creative

What about those precious items that you just cannot get rid of? Like your son’s first Father’s Day card that he drew at school, or your daughter’s nursery booties? These items are sentimental and would be hard to live without, so try getting creative in giving them a real home that brings you nostalgic memories every day. Try framing the card and booties in a visual timeline on your wall in your new living room or gift the booties for your granddaughter’s nursery. Pinterest is a great resource to get inspiration on how to repurpose the things that mean the most to you!

The British Columbia Senior Living Association knows that downsizing can be difficult to wrap your mind around and even more challenging to execute. However, downsizing can bring you wonderful adventures and help you truly relish in your retirement. If you found this blog helpful and would like to read more information regarding the senior living industry, you can check out the BCSLA blog here!
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