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Is It Time to Downsize Your Home? The Downsizing Checklist is Here

Monday, September 19, 2022
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Growing older is such a blessing. Looking back on all the memories and experiences collected throughout your life brings a very unique element of joy. However, memories, whether they be in the form of photographs, or your very first toaster, tend to take up a lot of space. Ask yourself right now: is it time to downsize? 

Now, no one is suggesting that you throw out your wedding album or your favorite tea set. If you’re considering downsizing your home though, the time has come to decide what you need to keep, what you can give away or donate, and the items that belong in the trash. 

That decision is not one to be taken lightly. Especially when it comes to choosing the size of your new home and consolidating your old space into the new one.

Benefits of Downsizing in Retirement

 A woman over 60 looking at her friend she’s talking to with a big smile on her face

When it comes to downsizing your home, as you know, there is a lot to gain by moving to a smaller place. Many experienced adults have opted to move into apartments, condos, or even retirement villages to make life easier and more comfortable.  

People often choose to downsize as a way to save on costs. A lot of people are either retired or are on a smaller income meaning that saving money, as you know, is a must. There are also certain considerations that come with age, such as healthcare, home repairs, and even traveling. Selling some of your items can mean an immediate cash spike while moving to a smaller place is a long-term cash benefit with a reduction in mortgage payments and taxes, as well as lower utility bills and insurance.  

Another benefit of downsizing is that you will simplify your life. The notion that less is more tends to be true. After all, fewer items to look after means more time for yourself, your hobbies, and even traveling just for fun. 

You can also move close to your family or/and for your medical needs to save the time and expense of traveling.

The Downsizing Checklist

The first thing on your downsizing checklist is that you start the process as soon as possible since you cannot do the whole thing, properly, in one day. This will give you more time to go through the whole of your current home without the stress of being in a rush. 

Make Lists of Items to Move

Since downsizing your home is all about organization, one of the best ways to do this is by making lists. Start by going through your house room by room and listing all of your items in each room, from biggest to smallest is probably the easiest.  

You can also highlight the items that are important and sentimental to you in one color and the ones that you should sell or donate as soon as you can in another. These latter items are the ones that you need new or are heading in that direction. Take your time with this and go through all your items carefully. 

Ask for Moving Help

You can also ask for help from family, and friends, or even hire a professional organizer. Asking for help will make the downsizing job that much easier, and having company along the way is never a bad thing. While you are in the list-making process you can also decide what items you want to keep and what not to keep.

Gift Items to Family and/or Friends

A woman over 60 taking a photograph using an old-school Kodak camera

You should make a note of which of the items you want to remove while downsizing your home would be beneficial to your friends and family. It would be better to give them these items, if they want them, instead of going through the hassle of donating or selling them. Giving items to family or friends is a great way to declutter, and is a form of gift giving helping you cover birthdays, Christmases, etc. 

Donate, or Sell What You Are Not Keeping

Once you have finished your downsizing list of all you have, now you can decide which ones to move with, and how to remove the items you no longer need or wish to have. You have several options to get rid of the items such as: 

  • A garage sells/ or selling them online
  • Donation to charities
  • Junk removal- for items that are just plain junk 

You can search up which legitimate companies can help you remove junk or/and which charities are willing to come and pick up what you want to donate. Ask your family or friends for help or advice on which companies or charities to use.

Find Your New, Smaller Home And Plan the Future Layout

A man over 60 searching for a new house on his laptop while sitting next to a window in his current home

Now that you have an idea of what items you are keeping from your downsizing checklist, you can start looking for a new, smaller home. You can decide how big of a garden you want if any, or how many rooms you see yourself living in. The purpose of downsizing your home is to make your life easier.  

When you find your new home, you can plan on what furniture goes where. This can also help you downsize your items in an even more organized way since you will see if your current furniture can even fit in your new home or not. If not, it would be best to sell or donate these items or give them as gifts to those family members or friends that want them. While looking at the floor plan of your new home you can also decide what new items you want to buy. This is the fun part.  

Then you can look for a moving company to help you downsize by moving you to your new, smaller home.

If you’re an AARP member and want someone else to take on the load of looking for a moving company for you, as well as to organize the whole moving process, you can contact Shyft at 1-888- 838- 5981 and learn about AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft. Shyft will give you more information about what they do, and save you money while decreasing your stress.

Tie Up Critical Business Before the Moving Day

A man over 60 searching for a new house on his phone while his wife is making a bed in the background

A friendly reminder for you is to sort out and tie up critical business before your moving day arrives. This can include notifying your banks, lawyer, accountant, insurance companies, medical aid, etc., and landlord that you are moving to a new place. It would also be wise to fill up your prescription ahead of time, as well as to ask the pharmacist which ones you can take if your brand is not sold by your new home address.  

You would also have to make sure that arrangements are made for your pets to move with you. This can be finding a travel carriage for them, or even making sure they are bathed before the move. You can also opt to buy non-perishable food for the first few days you are in your new home so that cooking is taken care of. Make sure that all your loose ends are together so that you can have a fresh start in your new, smaller home.  

Another very important aspect is that you should mentally prepare yourself for the downsizing process, and the move. You will be unlocking a lot of memories as you go through your items. It would be helpful for you to have someone to speak to while in this process, even if it is a therapist. 

After Downsizing Your Items, Shyft is Here to Help You Move

 A woman over 50 enjoying the sun on the beach while watching the waves and breathing the sea air

Sorting out your items will take a bit of work, but something that does not have to take much of your time is using Shyft to organize your downsizing moving process in just a few simple steps. Shyft only works with a network of moving companies that have been carefully vetted and approved for AARP members. 

What’s more, is that AARP members are entitled to up to $250 off any move that is booked with Shyft. This means that you will have someone organize your entire move for you, and make sure that your belongings arrive safely from door to door. All you have to do is contact Shyft. 

A couple over 60 sitting on a table having a launch while traveling around the world

Regardless of how you contact Shyft, either way, you will be talking directly to a Shyft Move Manager. This is someone who helps you throughout the Shyft moving process, by organizing it as well as giving you peace of mind.  

They will give you a video call at the time that you want. This call is done through the ShyftNext mobile app which is very easy to use. It is during this initial call that you will see and meet your Move Manager. It is also during this first call, that your Move Manager will create your inventory list (of everything that is left behind after donating, selling, or giving away) for you. The list will be 95% accurate, and it will be sent to you within half an hour from the end of the video call. This is done so you can check out the list, add items, remove items, and even give notes.

Next Stage of Shyft’s Organizing Process

A man giving a kiss on the cheek to his woman while they both take a walk on the beach during a cloudy day

When your Move Manager receives your 100% satisfied inventory list, they will take the list and your moving details to Shyft’s bidding platform. Your personal details are excluded from this part of the process and the platform is secure. This is where experienced, and independently verified moving companies can put their bids on moving projects, yours included.   

It is through this method that the cost of moving is decreased, and you will be paired with a mover that is suitable for your process. It is also through this process that Shyft will collect a lot of moving quotes, where every quote is from a different mover. All the quotes and information about the moving company will be sent to you. This is so you can make an informed choice of which one to work with. When you tell Shyft the choice you made, that company becomes locked down to your project. All the quotes that are sent to you are guaranteed.  

During your whole moving process, and even during the downsizing of your amount of items, you can reach out to your Move Manager whenever you want to. They are available 24 hours a day, every day of the working week, on evenings and weekends. You can ask for advice, check in on the moving process or even ask for tips on how to make downsizing a lot easier. Shyft is here to help you move while decreasing stress. Contact Shyft today and save up to $250 on your move if you are an AARP member. Put that membership to the best use possible.

A grandfather smiling while holding up and playing with his baby grandchild