As people grow closer to retirement, they may begin to think about whether or not they should downsize. Many don’t want to simply cut down on living space- they also want to expand their opportunities. A major reason that people move after retirement is to find ways of beginning anew in their golden years.
However, downsizing can be stressful: how does one cram 40 years’ worth of belongings into a compact condo? Many people are reluctant to move due to the number of things they own. They want to keep living large.
The End Goal
It’s much easier to move if you have an end goal. Do you want to travel more often? Spend time with your children and grandchildren? Learn to golf or find a new hobby? Keep those goals in mind as you sort through your belongings. When the process starts getting difficult, get inspired by these ideas to reduce your space but not your life.
Trade Space for Location
Have you always dreamed of living in the mountains, near the ocean or someplace exotic? Now’s your chance! Living in smaller quarters can free up finances for the perfect location. Finding a place with recreational activities, a reasonable cost of living, good weather, low taxes and access to healthcare is easier than you think.
Do a bit of research and you’ll find exactly what you want. Take a look at Arizona, Florida, Texas, Utah, and even more central locations such as Iowa and Kansas. You should also look abroad: countries such as Belize, Costa Rica, or the Dominican Republic are perfect for adventurous types.
It’s Just Stuff
If you’ve lived in the same home for decades, you may have accumulated a lot of “stuff.” After a major purge of your possessions you’ll feel better, we promise. As you sort, set aside those sentimental items you’ll bring with you no matter what.
Next, you can begin to separate out other items that you would like to give to your children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors. A great reward is being able to see the joy and excitement on their faces now, instead of after you’re gone.
Tell your kids to take their stuff: high school yearbooks, doll collections, boxes stored in your basement or attic, etc. They can either take it or you will get rid of it.
Have a moving sale. Lawn tools, baby items, furniture, kitchenware – everything goes. However, if you have several high value items, consider working with a professional estate buying company. You’ll get a much better price for your high-end items. Donate the rest to charity and get a tax deduction.
No matter how much stuff you try to rid yourself of, you’ll still have more than enough for your smaller home. However, with some creativity you can maximize your space. Here are a few ideas: add a storage bench in the entryway, utilize under-the-bed bins, install wall racks, and purchase multi-purpose ottomans, closet organizers and pretty baskets for blankets or magazines.
If you don’t put careful and thoughtful planning into your move, it may feel like it’s one big sacrifice. Unfortunately, many people wait until there’s a health crisis or major life event to move which can make the process even more stressful.
However, if you view this long endeavor as an upgrade to your life you can take advantage of the benefits that a smaller home will give. Instead of paying for a new roof or water heater, cleaning all day, shoveling mounds of snow, etc. you can explore the world, have new experiences, go to dinner with friends and design a new living space.
To begin your downsizing plan, call Showplace Estate Buyers today. They provide free consultations, whether you are planning on liquidating an entire estate or just a few items.
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