Now that the kids are grown, it’s the perfect time to embrace a new vision for your life. Do you have hobbies you’ve neglected? A bucket list of travel destinations you want to see? Then consider downsizing to get a new lease on life and find time you never knew you had to enjoy the things you never knew you loved.
While downsizing for seniors is often connected to feelings of nostalgia, it doesn’t have to be a depressing time. Sure, there are challenges – but there are a lot of opportunities, too! Downsizing your home means upsizing your life.
So why not welcome the lifestyle change? You can make the move and get a fresh start with fun new hobbies and interests. Or even live an urban lifestyle, with entertainment, shopping, and dining choices right at your fingertips.
This article guides you through the process of downsizing for seniors – from choosing a new home to de-cluttering your belongings to discovering your personal decorating style – and includes great downsizing tips.
Choosing a New Place to Call Home
There are many benefits to downsizing for seniors, and you should embrace it as an opportunity to define your new lifestyle.
First, let’s look at some of the benefits of downsizing.
Benefits of downsizing for seniors
- Create a new lifestyle. By downsizing, you’ll simplify your life and have more freedom and fewer responsibilities. Think about what’s important to you – is there something you’ve always wanted to do? Now is the time!
- Ease of maintenance. With a smaller place, there is much less cleaning and maintenance to worry about. Rather than spend your days dusting extra bedrooms and scrubbing extra bathrooms, you can relax into a space created just for you.
- Lower costs. Your utility bills will drop in a smaller home, and you’ll also save money on furnishings. Plus, you can kiss your mortgage goodbye! All those cost savings mean more money for the things you enjoy.
- Designing the home of your dreams. While recreating yourself, you can also recreate your home with a brand-new interior design style! You’re starting with a clean slate, so this is the perfect time to discover a style that matches your tastes and personality. There are lots of downsizing interior decorating ideas coming up a bit later.
What to look for in your new home
Now that you’re an empty nester, you can make choices that suit your lifestyle. What are you looking for in a new home? Many seniors find the urban lifestyle appealing – you can be close to all the amenities and action that fill your life with excitement.
Here are a few factors that you’ll want to consider when choosing your new place.
- Location. Maybe you’d like to transition from a house to a beautiful unit on the coast or river. Think of waking up each morning to that breathtaking view! Also, consider how close you’d like to be to family and friends (of course, if you’re living on the coast, they’re sure to come visit often!).
- Amenities. Consider what the apartment or unit itself has to offer you as a resident. Do you enjoy the outdoors? Then look for a place that offers a balcony, patio, or courtyard. Apartments come with great amenities – a gym, clubhouse, swimming pool, and more – so find one that suits the new lifestyle you can’t wait to enjoy.
- Community. Perhaps just as important, an apartment can offer a sense of community. It’s a great place to meet new friends and mingle with others who share similar interests. Find an apartment or condo community that matches your personality and the new you.
Preparing to Make the Move
Your biggest obstacle in preparing to downsize will be de-cluttering and minimizing your stuff. This is essential when preparing to move from a house to a smaller unit.
But we’ve made it easier! Here are some helpful downsizing tips, so you can make a smooth transition from house to apartment unit.
- Set a firm date for the move so you know exactly how much time you have. And then start early! Downsizing will be far less stressful if you aren’t rushed.
- Start small. Tackle your smaller rooms first (laundry room, linen closet, etc.) before diving into larger rooms.
- Know the layout of your new unit or apartment. If your current home has an office but your new place doesn’t, then you’ll need to find somewhere to store the stuff you keep in your office. You’ll also need an idea of the layout and approximate square footage when deciding what furniture to keep and what needs to go.
- Don’t keep duplicates. If you have a dozen sets of sheets, cut that in half (or less!). Take stock of your kitchen – do you need two blenders? No way. What about five cookie sheets? Probably not. Getting rid of duplicate items that have the same function is a fast and easy way to downsize.
- Downsizing your belongings doesn’t mean getting rid of them forever. You can gift them to family members – your loved ones will cherish those sentimental items!
- You can also sell things. Yard sales are a great way to make some extra money, or list items on Craigslist. Donating is another great option. Give to someone in need who will use and appreciate your donation every day!
- Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you consider what to keep and what must go.
- Do I need it or want it?
- Does it have sentimental value?
- Do I use it?
- Do I have another item that does the same thing?
Creating the Perfect Forever Home
Now that you’ve done the hard part, let’s jump to the fun part – creating the perfect home that reflects your individual style and flair. The kids have left the nest, so you can run wild with your downsized interior decorating to find your personal style.
The first step is to plan your space. You’ve probably already considered this when you were downsizing and de-cluttering your home, but again, it’s important to know the general layout of your new home. Think about where you’ll place furniture to maximize the flow of your space.
Next, think about the colours, materials, and patterns that reflect your style. Not sure what interior design style best suits your tastes? Check out this article for lots of ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Here are a few other downsizing interior decorating tips.
- Since your unit will be smaller, it’s important to know how to decorate small spaces. Your design should take into consideration storage options for small spaces, so you can make use of every inch to maximize your lifestyle.
- Don’t make the mistake of thinking apartments are bland and uninspiring. You can create a stunning apartment with simple decorating projects that boast a big impact!
- If you’re renting, check with your community manager to see if painting is allowed. Often, they’ll say yes (with a few conditions). Still, you may not want to paint an entire room. Instead, try painting a feature wall to add some zing!
Ready to write the next chapter of your life? If you’re thinking about downsizing and would like help creating a beautiful space that reflects your beautiful spirit, let’s chat! Contact Rochele Decorating, and together, we’ll create your perfect forever home.