Written by: Marie Villeza
When Five Bedrooms Become Two
There comes a time in every parent’s life when their adult children leave the nest. You may begin to look at those newly-empty rooms as a sign that it’s time to downsize into a smaller home that will meet your new lifestyle. Swapping your large family home for a smaller one will free up money and allow you to travel, enjoy life, and leave your worries behind.
Where to begin?
Your first step is to determine your ideal location. Are you a shopper and like the idea of being near retail establishments? Do you enjoy being outdoors? Choose your location based on proximity to your priorities.
Making the move
If there is one thing that’s universally true about the process, it’s that you’ll find you have a lot of stuff and a lot of stuff that you don’t need. Somehow, you either have to fit all that stuff into your new home or pick and choose what stays and what goes. When you’re downsizing, you’ll be forced to do the latter. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all at once and you don’t have to do it alone.
US News recently posted an article on how to declutter quickly before a move. Their suggestions include:
● Start early; putting things off will only add stress down the road
● Start small; start in the kids’ former bedrooms, and send their personal mementos to them
● Be prepared; have plenty of packing material on hand, a paper shredder, a recycling bin, and a box for trash
● Donate what you don’t need; this is the perfect time to lighten your load while doing good for others
As for not doing it alone, if you don’t have adult children that can lend a hand, consider bringing in a professional home organizer. A professional home organizer can help you evaluate your new space and determine which of your personal belongings, including furniture, clothing, and knick knacks, will lend best to a downsized lifestyle.
Things to consider
If you’re planning to be in your new home for the long haul, the good news is that it is your property, and you have the right to modify the interior to best suit your needs. Before moving in, it’s a good idea to determine if your floor plan will be right for you as you age. You may need to budget for certain accessibility home improvements, such as widening doorways and installing a walk-in bathtub, so plan for these items early. Accessibility modifications can range from just a few dollars with things like grab bars in the bathtub to pricier construction such as adding a ramp to your steps.
One room you’ll undoubtedly need to look at with an accessibility-minded eye is the kitchen. A complete kitchen remodel in Catonsville, MD, runs from about $11,750 to $30,317, but depending on your needs, you may be able to accomplish the updates you require for much less. Updates such as adding push-controlled buttons on the front of the stove, putting food on lower refrigerator and pantry shelves, and clearing out cabinets below sinks to provide wheelchair access can be done without a huge financial investment.
Moving to a new, smaller home is an exciting step in the lives of many still-young-at-heart Americans who wish to live life to the fullest now that their children are no longer children. It is a cost-effective option that offers you the ability do the things you’ve always wanted and to age in place.