As you approach retirement, you may be faced with a decision of whether to stay where you are or move into a smaller home. Perhaps your children have moved out and you don’t need the extra space. Perhaps you want to focus your energy on leisurely pursuits rather than the maintenance of a larger property. Or perhaps there are financial or health-related reasons for living in a smaller abode.
Regardless of the considerations you will need to make, the choices are the same. While moving can be a monumental task, a little forethought can help ensure a smooth transition to your new life.
Some retirees are looking for a smaller home in the same community where they currently reside. Others are looking for a complete lifestyle change. Find out what you want by considering the reasons for your move. Is it just about space ~ or would you like to be closer to family too? Are you looking for more free time ~ or are you also tired of the city life? Do you need a change of scenery ~ or are you longing for a completely different climate? Determine the reasons for your move and it will be easier to establish a list of potential destinations. Downsizing gives you the opportunity to match your home to your lifestyle. Consider the kind of facilities you’d like to have in your new home ~ and what you’re looking forward to leaving behind. Also consider the types of activities you hope to pursue in retirement and whether your chosen destination will mesh well with those activities.
The very thought of packing up a lifetime of memories can be so overwhelming that we become paralyzed and choose to “stay right where we are” even though we know, in our hearts, that it’s time to simplify our lives. With the help of a downsizing professional you can turn an insurmountable challenge into a manageable project and reduce the stress and worry of starting this new, exciting phase of your life. Downsizing is best described as a life stage. People spend many years in the “acquisitive stage”, acquiring and furnishing a home. Many retirees and empty-nesters prefer to operate on the premise that the less you own, the less you have to worry about.
Downsizing companies provide a customized solution for a downsizing transition, focusing on sorting, editing and reducing possessions to a realistic level. Key services often include:
- Preparing your house for re-sale
- Assist in finding a retirement community, apartment or assisted living facility
- Assist in finding a real estate agent to suit your individual needs
- Visiting your new and old residences, helping to decide what furniture to keep by creating a floor plan of the new residence
- Decision support in the selection of belongings to be given away, donated or sold
- Packing and shipping of items promised to family and friends
- Arranging for appraisal, sale and disposal of the balance of your personal property
- Cancel and re-route services and utilities
- Negotiate the moving contract with recognized movers
- Manage the move to your new home, including supervising the movers unloading at the destination with furniture placement
Downsizing companies work with professional partners to assure you of reliable services that are delivered in a timely manner. Professional partners who are specialists in the specific service they provide often include:
- Packing and moving material companies
- Disposal companies
- Home cleaners
- General contractors
When you call a downsizing company you can rest assured that every aspect of your downsizing transition will be handled with professionalism, compassion, caring and dignity. Professional downsizing companies are there to hold a hand, are non-judgmental, sensitive and empathetic and are effective in what they do because they are not the children; they are outside professionals who can be objective. Downsizing companies are able to offer personal service focusing on the details. By the time your move is completed, your bed will be made, clocks will be re-set and pictures hung.
Downsizing companies are an open, honest professional service providing you with:
- Resources that reduce your stress and worry
- Professional partners who are reliable and efficient
- Timely completion of your move
- Caring and respect for your lifetime of possessions and memories
Article featured in Living Life Magazine (Summer 2006)
and Forever Young Magazine (Fall 2006).
Written by Sandra Wright.