• It's Time to Downsize

Downsizing a Home an Option for Seniors

When a person comes to a certain age and the children move out and on with their own lives, a home may become too big for its occupants. At this point, residents may feel it's time to downsize to a smaller home.

Downsizing can be exciting and challenging at the same time. Going through and packing belongings can be a trip down memory lane. But chances are a smaller space will mean that a person will have to part with a number of his belongings collected over time.

To make the process easier, first assess how much space there will be in the new home. Many times floor plans or room dimensions are available. First measure large items, such as furniture, to be sure they will fit in the rooms. Then think about storage possibilities.

Next, make a running list of what items can be discarded and where those items will go. Some belongings can be donated to charity, while others may be given to family and friends. Many other things could end up in the trash or recycling bins.

Knowing where things will go will make them easier to sort. When actually beginning to get rid of things, start with the areas that receive the least amount of use. Belongings stored in the attic or basement may be simply taking up space and hold less sentimental value.

People can then work their way toward items that are used on a regular basis. It can be cathartic to clear out clutter and get ready to start anew. Some people find they have to downsize because of financial reasons. In these cases, thinning out belongings can also be a way to earn a few extra bucks. Selling seldom used items may produce a little extra cash that can help finance moving expenses or even bills.