As we get older, there are many milestone moments that define us and our lives—our graduation, our first “starter” home, the larger “family” home that we save up for. Although many people don’t like to think about it, the reality is that one of these transitions is the move to a more appropriate space when the family home becomes unrealistic. As we get older, maintaining our larger space or navigating flights of stairs may become more of a burden. This requires people to consider finding a home or space that is suitable for our needs.
Here’s how to make this move as easy as possible, both physically and emotionally.
- Research—The first thing you want to do is your research. Find out all you can about your options in the area. Are there condos, townhomes, ranch floor plans or smaller homes that would suit your needs better? Are there retirement facilities in your area that would support you in necessary ways? Understanding your options will help you make the best choice for your future.
- Make a plan—Once you have your new home selected, get ready to pack up your belongings. This is the time to downsize your home. You can give away mementos you have accumulated over the years to friends and family that will appreciate them. Definitely examine each item based on need, sentimental value, and space. You won’t be able to take everything with you. If you can afford it, consider getting a storage unit that can house some of your other belongings without taking up a lot of space. Finally, do a thorough house cleaning and purge anything you no longer need or want. If you are not attached to it, get rid of it.
- Pack smart—Start with a bag for everything you will need immediately—a couple of changes of clothes, pajamas, toiletries, etc. This will be your go-to until you get everything else unpacked and settled in. Also, make sure to label all of the boxes with very specific information as to what is inside. This is true whether the box is going with you or going into a storage facility. Ask family to help.
- Get acclimated—Once you move in, it is important to get acclimated as soon as possible to help alleviate any depression that the move might bring. Understand the items that increase your comfort level and be prepared to put them in place first. Be sure to meet your neighbors and introduce yourself. If your new living area has social programs or other amenities, sign up for these and get active as quickly as possible. Staying active and social is important.
Moving into a smaller space or even a senior facility does not have to be a negative experience. With a little careful planning and attention to detail, it can be just the start of a new phase in an exciting life.