How to Downsize During a Pandemic: Tips for Seniors

How to Downsize During a Pandemic:
Tips for Seniors

By Mary Shannon

Downsizing offers several benefits to seniors. Smaller homes are often more accessible, easier to maintain, and come with a lower cost of living. At the same time, decluttering your possessions will help you eliminate daily stress and avoid excessive cleaning, earning yourself more free time to spend on hobbies, recreation, travel, and family. Plus, downsizing is a great opportunity to relocate to a location that better fits your retirement lifestyle!.

If you’re considering a move but worried about a downsize during the pandemic, check out the following tips, brought to you by 207 Prime Properties, to ensure everything goes smoothly!

House Hunting During the Coronavirus

Keeping yourself safe should be your top priority while house hunting during COVID-19. And even if you’re vaccinated, extra precautions can’t hurt. Instead of touring homes in person or attending open houses, search for properties online and take advantage of virtual tools to explore your top picks. Real estate agents across the country have switched gears and now offer video-chat walkthroughs to show off homes from a safe distance, so make the most of these trends and continue your housing search.

Keep in mind that you can use a lot of these same tools to safely show your own home to buyers when it comes time to put your property on the market. You can work with your 207 Prime Properties agent for help setting up your online listing and offering virtual tours to potential buyers. A top realtor will know how to maximize your home’s online presence to draw in buyers without risking your health.

Your Housing Alternatives

Unless you’re dead set on aging in place, consider alternative housing options that could make your retirement years a little more comfortable. Assisted living and independent living are two great options, but it’s important to understand the difference between them.

As Modern Retirement explains, independent living communities offer housing and convenient amenities to people over 55, which can help make independent living much more accessible. Skilled nursing homes, on the other hand, provide extra services for seniors who need some help with their daily living tasks. These services may include help with bathing, dressing, and medication management or even physical therapy. In both housing options, you will have access to valuable social support through community common areas and recreational activities, which can increase your quality of life.

Decluttering Your Belongings and Saying Goodbye

Before you can move into your smaller home, you will need to get rid of some of your possessions. Of course, this can be incredibly hard, especially if you’ve been living in the same home for decades. Start early and give yourself plenty of time to sort through everything before your moving day. Remember that decluttering can be an emotional process, so it’s important not to rush. When you come across sentimental clutter, Apartment Therapy recommends creating designated keepsakes boxes and taking photos of items before parting with them. It can also help to have someone there with you during your decluttering sessions.

Planning Your Move

Once you’ve settled on your new home base, it’s time to start packing and planning for the big move. Connect with a local moving company by researching online reviews. Look for a few companies that get top ratings, and then connect with them for quotes. Note that the average move for a 2-3 bedroom home costs around $1,250. When gathering quotes, be sure to ask about what’s included in the move so you’re not surprised with any add-ons.

Additionally, prepare for your first night in your new place by putting together a box with everything you could possibly need. Phone chargers, medications, toiletries, clothing, and any other necessities.

For maximum safety in your new home, make a point to have the locks changed since you can’t be sure the previous owners collected all of the keys to your home. Just like with your moving research, do the same for a locksmith. Look for a few top locksmiths in your city, check out their ratings and then compare rates. Nationally, the average cost to re-key a door ranges from $50 to $150. To help you find the right pro, confirm they are licensed, insured and that they offer a warranty on their services.

House hunting, selling your home, decluttering, and moving may be a little more complicated right now, even with the pandemic slowing down. That said, you can still plan and prepare for your downsizing move! Taking your time and considering your options carefully will ensure you make the best decision for your retirement years.

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