There are roughly 75 million baby boomers in the US, and around 10 million retirees will be downsizing their home in the near future.
This isn’t overly surprising. Downsizing your home is a practical move once you retire. It may be because you want to cut down on costs or simply because you want to be closer to your precious grandkids and realize you don’t need as much space in your next home. Whatever your reason may be, there’s no denying that moving homes is still a stressful task.
In fact, moving is listed as one of the top five most stressful events of your lifetime, right alongside experiencing the death of a loved one, divorce, and job loss.
So why is moving so stressful?
Moving from your home is stressful at any age, but after 50, the stress is amplified.
It’s no secret that as we age, we lose some of the vigor of our youth. Even when you’re staying active, there are some things that are still more challenging than they were in your twenties. Moving is one of them.
Lifting and carrying heavy boxes and going up and down stairs is simply exhausting. And that’s just considering the physical stressors of moving home. Having to deal with the expenses, packing everything, planning, and disrupting the normal routine of your life are all causes of mental distress.
Change doesn’t have to always be anxiety-inducing. In fact, moving homes can be an exciting new venture in your life if you do it right. Here are some tips for how to take the stress out of downsizing your home once you’re ready for a downsize.
Say a proper goodbye
One of the things that makes moving so difficult is leaving the place that we’ve called home and established memories in. Before you leave your home, make sure to dedicate some time to properly say goodbye.
Visit all your favorite places, spend time with your favorite neighbors, and reflect on all the things that made your current house feel like home. This way you get proper closure of this chapter in your life and have time to soak in all of the things you value to carry with you into your next home and chapter.
Start packing early
Waiting until the last minute is the worst possible thing you could. Rushing to get everything ready for the move will cause chaos and increase the likelihood of accidents or mistakes.
Start your packing process early so you can take your time. Work backward by packing up the things you hardly ever need first so that you won’t need to dig through boxes while you’re still living in your home. Be sure to create a labeling system so you know what items and in what boxes and which room each box is intended for. This will make the unpacking process run much smoother.
While you’re at it, take this time to do a cleaning out of all the things you no longer need. Purge unnecessary items as you go so you minimize how much you really need to take with you. This is especially important as you’re downsizing. With less space, your clutter will start to take over, so take this time to get rid of all the “stuff” you’ve been meaning to do away with for years.
Leave the big stuff behind
When you’re managing a move, there are some especially difficult items to transfer short and long distances like your couch and your bed. Instead of dealing with the challenge of transferring these items to your new home, leave them behind. Couches and beds have limited lifespans anyway, so it’s probably time for a replacement.
Once you get moved into your new home, you can plan to find replacements. It’s not difficult to find a couch retailer who will deliver, and you can even buy a bed-in-a-box online that can easily be shipped to your front door. If you plan ahead, replacing these items can be a much less stressful alternative to actually taking your old ones with you.
Ask for help
Overcoming your I-can-do-this-all-myself pride will be one of the best decisions you make. Calling in backup reinforcements and asking people for help will take some of the burdens off your own back. When you realize moving everything yourself is too overwhelming, ask friends and family for help. You can also consider coordinating with helpful services such as a senior moving management company to help with planning, organizing, and moving day tasks.
Moving to a new home can be the most stressful thing you do, or it can be one of the most exciting. It’s all about what you make it out to be.
Do you have any moving tips? Please leave a comment below.