In 1975, famous TV family The Jeffersons were “movin’ on up… to a deluxe apartment in the sky.” But by now, in 2022, many in that boomer generation face a different prospect, a new phase in their lives – one that still signals all the hope and aspiration captured in that catchy theme song.
Many baby boomers (and silent generationers) are considering “moving on down” by downsizing their homes. And it makes perfect sense. Downsizing can help you stretch your savings and pension, and it can better align your living situation with your changing needs and abilities. No more third-floor attic to clean, unwieldy garden to tend or high income taxes to pay – just a small home, free of obstacles, surrounded by like-minded people around your own age.
However, moving of any kind can be stressful, let alone moving to a tighter space. That’s why it’s critical to be prepared. In this article, let’s parse out a plan of action for downsizing, a list of simple tips that can guide you through the emotional, logistical and physical aspects of your big move.
Set A Timeline For Important Events
The first step in your journey will be to map out the process. Granted, these are “best-laid plans,” but having them in writing will help you navigate the rocky waters.
List your preferred closing date for the old home, as well as your desired possession date for the new one. Break down your house by room, and methodically figure out when each area should be boxed up, ready to be moved. Other important events may include home staging, selling large furniture pieces, redrafting your will/POA, etc.
Print A Copy Of The New Floor Plan
Once you’ve inked a deal on a new home, print a copy of the floor plans, and grab a marker and a ruler. These will be indispensable instruments as you plan a new décor arrangement.
Will that chaise lounge fit in the living room? Can you keep that teak sideboard in the dining room? Measure each piece and check it against the floor plan using your marker. This should give you a realistic idea of what you can keep, and what needs to be sold, gifted or donated.
Consult With Downsizing Specialists To Manage Your Belongings
You don’t have to go through the process alone. In fact, it’s much easier if you don’t. Consult with downsizing specialists like NEATSPACES to coordinate and formalize your downsizing plans. Quality downsizing experts take a compassionate, systematic and holistic approach to your situation.
They help you sort, organize, sell and/or donate your belongings, and coach you toward digitizing important documents. They plan moving trucks and movers. They help unpack and set up your new space. And, importantly, they keep your timeline on track so you can feel good about moving day.
Schedule Conversations With Partners And Loved Ones
Lastly, part of your plan should be to incorporate loved ones into the conversation. Obviously, partners get a seat at the table, but you might consider family as well. Saying goodbye to one’s family home can elicit strong emotions from kids and even relatives.
And the best way to process these emotions is to spearhead frank, open conversations. Why is this the right move for you in your life’s journey? How can you preserve the past in a way that pleases everyone? Start a dialogue that foregrounds your desires and needs but takes into account others’ emotional responses.
With a rough timeline, a trusty floorplan, an expert team of downsizing specialists and a commitment to communication, you can ace your downsizing experience. Moving on down will be a breeze!