Article contributed by Michael Longsdon  Photos by Pexels

Pack and Go.  Seniors Get More Out of Life  With Less.

Seniors Get More Out of Life with Less

If you’re getting up in years and the idea of living in a home that not only costs less to upkeep but also requires fewer hours in maintenance, then keep reading. Here, we’ll outline a few key points on ways you can downsize in space so that you can live big in retirement.

Consider a move to the city. City life has its ups and downs,but if you’re looking to simplify, the benefits may outweigh the negatives.City life means access to public transportation, medical care, and services andamenities, such as grocery stores and parks for exercise and recreation. Withthe baby boomer population exploding, many urban areas have begun to develop strategies to make citylife easier for people of all ages.

Know how much space you really need. In the course of just two or three generations, the average home size has nearly doubled. In a Western society that stresses socioeconomic flamboyance, these supersized homes are quickly filled to the brim with stuff that serves no other purpose than to collect dust. However, as TreeHugger explains in this article, a big empty house is not only hard on your wallet but on the environment, too, and probably won’t enhance your enjoyment. Consider looking for a home that’s 1,000 square feet or less with a maximum of two bedrooms; you’ll learn how to utilize a smaller space, enjoy lower property taxes and have more hours in the day that you don’t devote to cleaning and maintenance tasks.

Make the move easy on yourself and your pets. If you own pets, it’s difficult to consider making a move. After all, they’ve acclimated to your space and moving means having to fix all of the little issues they’ve created over the years. But rest assured that your pet will settle into yournew home quickly. Moving day, however, is an altogether different story. Themoving process can cause anxiety and trigger behavioral issues, especially innervous pets. Make sure your dog has a secure crate and keep them in anout-of-the-way area such as garage or bedroom. When it’s not possible to checkon your dog every hour or so, it may be in everyone’s best interest to board him during moving day.

Hire the right movers. In the world of relocation, not all movers are created equally. While many claim to offer the best bang for your buck, they often hide fees and tack on added charges upon delivery. The Moving Blog advocates getting multiple quotes from moving companies who are willing to come to your home to survey your property and belongings. Don’t get hung up on price and make sure to check out your moving company’s reputation before signing a contract.

Pick the right realtor. Anyone can log on to the Internet and find a home online. But it takes an experienced real estate agent to identify the pros and cons of each listing before investing the time and energy into a visit. Take some time to interview local agents. Once you have narrowed down your search, talk to them about the area so you can gauge their familiarity and experience.

Turn your excess belongings and cash. It’s difficult to get rid of half of your belongings. But if you’re going from a large family home t oa one- or two-bedroom condominium or cottage, that’s exactly what you’ll need to do. As you sort through each room, purge duplicate items, clothing you never wear, unused kitchen gadgets and oversize furniture. Now’s a great time to divvy up family heirlooms between your children and grandchildren. Dedicate the garage or spare bedroom as a holding place for usable items and plan to host a garage sale before the move.

Moving doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. Ditching the excess space is an opportunity to cash in on home equity – and garage sale proceeds — that can be used on everything from travel, personal hobby or to simply relax and enjoy the fruits of your life long labors.

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