Are you thinking about moving? If you are, you’ve likely been inundated with information about downsizing and tips for moving into a smaller home.
We prefer to think of it a little differently.
It’s not downsizing your home. It’s about rightsizing your lifestyle. What’s the difference?
Rightsizing is about choosing to create a life and a home that best matches what’s important to you and how you want to spend your time. It’s not about creating a smaller footprint; it’s about creating a fuller life.
Downsizing or rightsizing your home can help you regain freedom by giving you more time to enjoy the things you like to do.
But…where do you start?
Know When It’s Time
Deciding when it’s time to downsize your home is a significant decision–it is also an extremely emotional one. While there is no right or wrong answer, there are factors you may want to consider to help determine if moving to a smaller home is best for you.
- Are you feeling isolated or lonely living in your house?
- Do you have spare or unused rooms you rarely enter?
- Do you still take pleasure in caring for the lawn or garden, or would you happily outsource home maintenance responsibilities?
- Is there a financial benefit to downsizing?
- Would transitioning to a senior living community surrounded by people and things to do offer welcomed social interaction?
I have the opportunity to speak with Summit residents often and what they tell me is they wish they had moved to a senior living community sooner. They didn’t realize all the stress and anxiety they were holding on to trying to maintain a home that no longer fit their lifestyle. Rightsizing their living situation gave them less to worry about and more opportunities to pursue hobbies and interests.
Have a Downsizing Plan
Even when you know you’re ready and confident about the many advantages of downsizing, getting started can feel daunting. You may have lived an entire life in that home! Creating a downsizing plan can help make the process feel more manageable.
- Start early: Sorting, organizing, donating, and packing will take longer than anticipated. Begin preparing for a potential move at least two to three months before you think you might move–earlier if you can. The sooner you begin, the more you’ll reduce the stress associated with moving and enjoy memories.
- Take pictures: Don’t dive right in! Before decluttering or moving things, photograph your home so you can remember exactly how it looks today. This will help you recreate your favorite rooms and spaces in your new home. Creating a familiar-feeling environment can help you adjust sooner to your new environment.
- Gift, donate or toss: Go room by room and start decluttering where you can. What can you gift to friends and family? What can you donate to goodwill or other charitable causes to help someone else? What can you sell via a garage sale or through consignment? Be particularly aware of rooms you may not have in your new home–like a garage or an office.
- Create a timeline: When do you think you might want to be out of your home? Have a timeline in your mind to help you know how much time you have to sort your belongings. Perhaps you would like to move before the next winter to save yourself from dealing with the snow or paying to heat a large home. Maybe you plan to put your house on the market when young families want to buy ahead of the new school year.
Starting Looking For A New Home
The sooner you begin looking, the more fun you will find in the process. You may choose to begin researching senior living communities to help you understand what exists in your market (and close to family and friends). We strongly encourage people to walk in and tour the communities they are considering. When you visit, use your full senses.
- Does it feel comfortable?
- Is it welcoming?
- Are people smiling?
- Are they spending time together?
You want to live where you feel comfortable and part of a larger community. You will also want to consider what amenities are services are important to you.
- Would you prefer to cook your meals or have them all provided?
- What are your hobbies/interests, and will you be able to maintain these in your new home?
- Are you seeking opportunities for fitness classes?
- Would you like access to educational seminars?
- What other lifestyle amenities are important to you?
- Do you require advanced care services, such as nurse supervision or memory care services?
Create a checklist of your Must Haves and Nice to Haves to help you keep track of what’s offered in what community.
Preparing to rightsize your home requires going through a lifetime of memories and belongings to sort, toss, and decide what you will keep. You are likely to find tokens from when your children were young, old love letters, photographs of people you’ve lost, ticket stubs, old gifts, etc. It is normal to feel emotional about the items you are uncovering. Let yourself feel them, and also let yourself feel excited about what lies ahead. The chance to meet new people, spend more time doing things you enjoy and let go of the items that once created worry and anxiety for you–like a leaky faucet or a lawn that requires constant upkeep. This is a choice you are making for yourself to open up new possibilities!
Ask For Help!
If you start to feel overwhelmed by the challenge of rightsizing your home–get in touch! We are here to answer any questions you may have and can connect you with experts who can help.
Rightsizing is about understanding what brings you joy–in your life and home. At Summit, we are here to help you in any way we can!