Living Small for Seniors: A Quick Downsizing Guide

Many of us have become accustomed to living with too much stuff and too much space. While downsizing may feel strange at first, cutting out the clutter and minimizing your life will force you to focus on what matters most—hobbies, travel, or spending time with family, for example. Retirement is an excellent opportunity to reevaluate your living situation and remove things that are weighing you down. Here are some tips to ensure your downsizing experience is easy and trouble-free.

Deciding Where to Live

The most important part of downsizing is deciding where your new home will be. If you’d prefer to buy a smaller home, review Mesquite real estate prices to see what neighborhoods and types of homes are affordable (homes have an average price of $264,000). You’ll also want to purchase a home that is accessible for seniors or that can be easily modified for accessibility.

Finding the right home also means choosing a dependable and professional real estate agent to help with the home-buying process. The skilled realtors at ERA Brokers have expertise in the local market and can put you in an ideal home for your needs.

Minimizing Your Possessions

After choosing a place to live, you have a few more difficult decisions to make as you minimize your possessions. Start by obtaining a floor plan of your new home so you can sort through your furniture and choose pieces that will fit into your new place. When it comes to the small stuff, go slowly. Tackle one drawer at a time instead of attempting to sort through an entire room in one day. When it comes to those complicated junk drawers, take advice from The Spruce for narrowing down and organizing rarely used items.

To keep your decluttering sessions efficient, sort items into “yes” or “no” piles. Don’t make a maybe pile—you’ll just have to sort through this again later! You can further divide your “no” pile into piles for selling, giving away, donating, and throwing out.

There are several different decluttering methods you can use to decide what to keep and what to throw away. With the KonMari Method, for example, you ask yourself if an item “sparks joy” when you hold it. While you can follow methods like these, it’s important to find a decluttering strategy that works best for you. Don’t feel like you need to adhere to any strict plan. After all, minimizing your possessions is a very personal experience! Regardless, Embracing Simple recommends asking yourself these questions if you ever get stuck on an item.

Facing Moving Day

Once you’ve narrowed down your possessions and chosen your new place, there’s just one last thing to do: move. The weeks before moving day can be extremely stressful, so take care of everything you can as early as possible. Follow a moving checklist, like this one from Real Simple, to avoid missing important tasks. Remember that you’ll have to book movers (expect to pay $60 - $80 for labor for a local move), switch over your utilities, contact your insurance company, and budget plenty of time to pack up your things.

Saying goodbye to your home can be tough, so ask some friends or family members to join you on the last day. Share memories of life in the home, and take lots of pictures. Remember, your home was an integral part of your life, so it’s okay to experience some grief as you get acclimated to your new place.

Additional Resources

Home Modifications for Seniors: A Room-by-Room Guide for Safety and Independence
5 Steps to Take When Moving to a New Neighborhood
How to Manage the Emotions of Downsizing
Get more information about downsizing in the Mesquite Nevada area.