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Downsizing can have many benefits at any age, but for seniors, it’s a way to save money and maintain their health at the same time. Downsizing means having less to pay for, less to clean, and less to worry about, and having fewer financial and maintenance-related responsibilities will allow you to focus more on happiness. Not only that, but you may also be able to find a house that is closer to your family or your doctor’s office, which will give you peace of mind.

In order to make the most of the benefits of downsizing, it’s important to ensure that you can safely get your current home packed up and ready for the move. Going through your belongings, cleaning, and decluttering is an essential part of a downsize, but the process can take some time and you’ll likely need a little help. Talk to friends and loved ones about how they can assist as you get things in order. You should also plan carefully for moving day to ensure you’ll have the help you need and that you and your pets will be safe throughout the process.

Here are a few tips on how to make the most of a downsize.

Choose the Right Location

Moving can be a big job, and it can be a bit intimidating for many seniors. However, it’s a chance to choose the perfect location for a new home, which allows you to find a neighborhood that meets your needs. Whether you want something closer to family or a spot that’s safer than your current area, do some research to find the best community. Take into account whether the neighborhood has a homeowners association — which might limit your options for exterior additions like a garden — and how far it is from all the places you visit most, including the grocery store and your doctor’s office. Knowing what you want in the house itself is also a huge help, so think carefully before choosing which houses to look at.

Go Through Your Belongings

Many people who are getting ready for a move find that they have many more belongings than they initially thought they did. Going through closets, drawers, the attic, and the basement can take some time, but it’s important to make some decisions about what to keep and what you can get rid of before the move. Not only will you not have room for everything in a smaller home, but it’s also crucial to keep clutter at bay due to falls and other health hazards. Sort through everything to determine what stays and what can be donated or sold, and make sure you have a plan for each piece of furniture before the move.

Make Moving Day a Breeze

Planning carefully will help you make the most of moving day, so think ahead and prepare as much as possible for your safety and comfort. If you’ll be hiring a moving company, make sure they understand your needs. If you have pets, plan for their safety and ask a friend or family member to take care of them on the big day to ensure that they’re not underfoot during all the activity. Also, set aside several boxes for this day to pack up any last-minute items, such as cleaning supplies, medication, and things like phone chargers and devices.

Prepare for Settling In

Don’t wait until you’re already moved in to get to know your new home. Making an effort to meet your neighbors, walk around, find out the details about the neighborhood (such as when trash pickup is), and learn the ins and outs of the new house will help you feel less anxious when the big day arrives. If possible, take some pictures of the interior of the house so you’ll have a floor plan of sorts to go by on moving day.

Downsizing has many benefits for seniors, but it’s best to make the most of each aspect so you can plan for your safety and comfort. Packing and decluttering, getting ready for moving day, and turning a new house into a home will help you find joy in the move, rather than stress.

written by Mike Longsdon