Easy and accessible tips for seniors looking to downsize

Easy and Accessible Tips for Seniors Looking to Downsize

Michael Longsdon recently had first-hand experience in senior downsizing with his wife’s parents. He has graciously shared his insights in this post.


According to the AARP’s 2012 United States of Aging survey, an estimated 90 percent of seniors plan to age in place. While many wish to stay in the homes they raised their families in, for many seniors, aging in place requires downsizing their house to something more manageable. A smaller house reduces the amount of steps a senior has to traverse, which can be especially helpful as they develop mobility issues. Less area means less upkeep. Plus, seniors can cut down on how much they have to spend on utilities, taxes, and insurance and keep that money to do the things they love.

If you or someone you know is a senior considering downsizing, take the following advice into account to help make the process smoother and more enjoyable.

Start Now
Even if you feel like downsizing is something you’ll be doing way off in the distant future, beginning the process now can be a huge help. Getting rid of years of accumulated stuff always takes longer than you imagine. Plus, there’s no harm is decluttering the place you are living in now. A decluttered home is easier to clean and can even reduce stress and anxiety. So pick a room, grab some boxes, and schedule a donation pick-up appointment with your local Salvation Army today — don’t wait!

Get Inspired
Marie Kondo’s 2011 book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing has been a best-seller for seven years for a reason. In the book, Kondo makes a compelling argument for living with less and the Zen it can bring into your daily life. The book is easy to read and comes with detailed instructions on how you can use the KonMari method in your own home. Pick up the book today to get inspired about cleaning out and downsizing. After you are done with it, pass it on to a friend or loved one.

House Hunt Online
The internet is an amazing resource when it comes to real estate. No longer do you have to spend your weekends hiking through neighborhoods in order to get an inside look at available properties. You can browse homes for sale in the comfort of your own home today and get a better idea of what you want in your retirement home. If you see features in a property you like, write them down to share with your real estate agent when the time to buy finally comes.

Consider Accessibility
If you plan on aging in place, accessibility modifications can make your home safer and life easier. The areas where remodels are most likely needed are the kitchen and bathroom. However, these renovations can sometimes cost a pretty penny. For instance, the cost of remodeling a bathroom in Williamsburg, VA, ranges from $7,729 to $14,192. When looking for a retirement home, factor in the costs of modifications into your budget. You may be able to get the seller to knock off some of the price with that knowledge in mind.

Hire Movers
When the day finally comes to relocate to the home where you’ll spend your golden years, the last thing you need is a debilitating injury to start your new life. You aren’t in college anymore — hire professional movers to pack up your items and safely move large pieces such as furniture to your new home. If you want to save money on the service, schedule your move to happen in the middle of the week and avoid the peak season for moving.

Downsizing to a smaller and more accessible home helps seniors age in place. If you are considering downsizing, start getting rid of things now. You can get inspired to clear out clutter with helpful books like Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Browse homes online to get excited while finding features you want in your new home. Remember: You may need to budget for accessibility renovations in the house if they are not already there. Finally, when the day comes to move, prevent injury and hire professionals to do the heavy lifting for you.


Thanks, Mike! This is so true. For more useful information, check out ElderFreedom.net for other useful insights on senior issues.

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