Downsizing can be hugely beneficial for seniors, as it can help keep them safe and comfortable in a smaller home after retirement or following the loss of a spouse or partner. It’s a big job, however, and it requires quite a bit of careful planning to pull off successfully. Many seniors find that preparing for a move is just as stressful as the move itself, especially if they have a home full of memories and belongings. When it comes to downsizing, there’s certainly a lot to think about.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help make the process go more smoothly. From learning the most efficient way to pack up your home to figuring out which items you can do without, there are several ways you can make downsizing a success. The key is to start with a good plan; getting organized will help prevent any troubling surprises down the road.

McClellan Senior Living wants you to thrive with your decision, so keep reading for some great tips on how to successfully downsize.

Do Some Research

A little research will help you figure out the best way to get started. U.S.News explains that not only will you need to look for a home that meets your needs — especially if you have health or mobility issues — you should also consider the size of your new place. Once you find a space you like, take some measurements and snap a few photos of each room so that when you’re ready to pack, you’ll be able to make decisions on which items of furniture to keep and where they should go.

Get Plenty of Packing Supplies

Any move requires lots of different supplies, but it’s important to plan ahead and make sure you have plenty of boxes of varying sizes, and thankfully, you can pick up moving boxes for free. This can help you keep your belongings safe and will prevent any issues on moving day (such as having to load loose items in the car, where they might get damaged or broken). Packing tape, scissors, newspaper or bubble wrap, a large black marker, and cleaning supplies are also necessities you’ll need.

Consider Your Options

No matter what your living situation has been before now, it’s crucial to think about your options when it comes to finding a new place to live. For example, if you want to move into a home that requires accessibility modifications, you’ll need to factor in those costs. As a starting point, get familiar with the local market, then price out any changes you want to make.

Remodeling will most likely need to be done in the bathroom and kitchen. View your changes with fall prevention in mind; for instance, most senior homeowners look for changes like installing grab bars and senior-friendly flooring.

On the other hand, if you don’t feel you are in a good place financially for the purchase of a new house, there is a wide variety of options to consider, like home sharing,  intentional communities, or all-inclusive assisted living communities like McClellan Senior Living. This is a way to save money and stay social at the same time, all of which can reduce stress and improve health.

Downsizing is a major life change, and with it often comes stress, anxiety, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. However, if you start with a good plan and ask for help from friends and family, there are several ways you can make the process easier for yourself. Keep in mind that your mental and physical health are priorities during this time, so take plenty of breaks and don’t forget to eat and stay hydrated. Taking care of yourself will help to reduce those feelings of stress and will allow you to make a move without any issues.

Visit McClellan Senior Living’s website for more great articles like these and to learn more about how they can help you live your best life throughout your golden years.

Mike Longsdon provides advice to seniors on downsizing and aging in place and can discuss concerns like tackling home accessibility modifications, how to find a great contractor, the benefits of aging in place, and more .

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