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What to Think about Before Downsizing

Downsizing Your Home?

As a Boomer, one of these days you might face an inevitable event: downsizing. Will it be depressing? No, if from the get-go there are positive thoughts connected with the decision and it’s done at a good time–like when all the signs point to leaving the big house.

Because it’s liberating when family members clear out high school keepsakes and memorabilia and that ugly college futon that even your adult children refuse to sleep on.

Freedom from clutter and the lightness and openness of the space you eventually occupy (no matter what size it is ) can be delightful.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote:

The bare beauty of the channeled whelk tells me that one answer, and perhaps a first step, is in simplification of life, in cutting out some of the distractions…I must find a balance somewhere, or an alternating rhythm…

downsizing, condo living, selling the family home, apartment living, aging, planning for retirement, midlife, midlife women

What to Consider Before you Downsize Your Home

Consider: it’s good to be ahead of the game. What if a health issue arises that limits movement or requires hospitalization. Then this major life-project is either indefinitely postponed or put in the hands of someone else.

We begged my 90-year-old aunt to move when she was relatively healthily; predictably, she said no. After a broken hip, the cleaning and downsizing was a painful event–all she could do was agree as I asked “Should we give this away?” “Should we throw this away?” Her life! And I had to dispose of it.

Many of us have been in the home or apartment of a person who for many reasons didn’t downsize when they left that house with all the bedrooms. Things are jammed into a smaller space that doesn’t allow easy movement. The home feels uncomfortable, like you can’t breathe. With forethought and good advice Boomers today are likely NOT to do this.

Four Downsizing Facts to Consider

1. Condos are usually on one level, like apartments; accessing a condo on an upper floor requires using stairs or an elevator.
Negatives: The ability to get outside is limited; you might have a tiny porch or deck with little to no privacy.
Positives: Usually condos provide living space on one level.
2. Townhomes offer the opposite choices, often providing that garden or space to get outside, but usually composed of two stories with stairs.
3. When thinking about choosing a future space, cost will probably be a major consideration–but while crunching numbers, consider comfort too. This might be the last home you occupy and there is nothing better for one’s future than comfort.

4. Once you have found that new home, make a floor plan or template, whether it’s one room or something larger.

Have your measurements indicate placement of doors, windows, appliances, built-in shelves, linen storage, heater vents, etc. This will allow you to know exactly the space you will have for furniture placement.

Continue reading this post on Beth Havey’s blog, Boomer Highway

Elizabeth Havey

I’m a baby boomer, member of the hectic sandwich generation. I write Boomer Highway to help slow down the frenetic pace of life. I want to be “Your road to mind-body wellness for a longer life.” A registered nurse and health educator, I am passionate about preventative health measures and women’s health. Together, let’s deal with the snags in the fabric of life that affect our generation, our children and grandchildren. Together we can solve problems, stop racing along the boomer highway and slow down life’s pace. Wouldn’t it be great to navigate the coming decades on a peaceful road?

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Friday 11th of September 2015

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