Retirement is the perfect opportunity to take stock and find a new direction, it is also a time when many retirees leap at the chance to free themselves from the burden of maintaining a large family home.
Downsizing, after all, does make a lot of sense, especially if you don’t want the expense of heating empty bedrooms or the stress of maintaining a large garden. According to Age Mobility, 64 is the perfect age to downsize as it means that you can benefit most from getting rid of unused space and free up cash that allows you to live a dream retirement without financial strain.
We understand that it can be difficult to separate yourself from items that hold precious memories which is why, if you are moving from a large family home into an independent senior living community we recommend that you start the process of decluttering as soon as possible and importantly, pace yourself!
- Focus on one room at a time
To ensure that you don’t feel overwhelmed we recommend that you start the downsizing process as soon as possible and go through each room individually, giving yourself the time and headspace that you need to sort through your house. If you split your decluttering into “sections” and go room by room and start this process at least 3 months before you plan to move home it’ll be far less stressful on moving day as you will already have everything organised.
Before you downsize and move into a luxury over 55’s property, it’s essential that you set yourself clear boundaries and know how much space your new apartment will have and what you intend to take with you to your new home. It’s essential that you have a clear room-by-room picture of what you’ll be taking with you to your new home and what you intend to get rid of.
If you’ve lived in your current home for a long time, it’s likely that you will have accumulated a large amount of furniture, household items and personal possessions. To effectively downsize, letting go of personal attachments is key.
There are a lot of techniques to help you let go of items that you no longer use or need and end up with possessions that you actually need:
Some popular methods include:
- One-A-Day Method: This sounds a little extreme, but once you start, it’s easy to get into. You simply let go of one item per day, or if you are short on time, you give away the same amount of items as the day of the month, for example, if it’s the 14th of September, you give away 14 items.
- The Marie Kondo Method: Popularised by the Netflix series “Tidying Up”, this method takes on clutter by category (clothes, books and sentimental items). If an item no longer “sparks joy” then it’s time to get rid of it.
- Four-Box Method: Take an item and only give yourself four options. Typically, these options are: keep, donate, recycle and sell
2. Consider your new Lifestyle
Once you’ve decided what to keep and what to leave behind, have a final sweep of your possessions with your new lifestyle in mind.
If you’re heading to one of our luxury retirement apartments in Thornton-Cleveleys for example, you’ll be surrounded by renowned golf courses and miles of golden sand, so keeping your clubs and bucket and spade for the grandchildren will be essential. However, if you’re heading to our retirement community in Derby, you will only be 30 minutes from East Midlands airport, so keeping your cossie and a sun hat is a must!
3. Plan Decorative Touches
Downsizing to move into a retirement flat should feel like a positive experience. Use the time before you move to get excited and plan the layout and decor in your new flat.
Think about your colour scheme – will it be punchy and bright or neutral and muted? Will you have a featured piece of furniture or object? Planning the look and feel of your new space not only gets you excited about making the move to your new home but helps you choose and keep the right decorative objects for your new retirement flat.
Remember, if you choose to move into one of our retirement living apartments, we leave the finishing touches to you. Each apartment is thoughtfully designed with you in mind and includes storage areas to help you make the most of your space, but when it comes to putting a personal stamp on the place – we leave that entirely up to you.