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Downsizing Tips for Seniors

Retirement is a new chapter in life. Downsizing by decluttering, organizing, modifying, or otherwise simplifying your home contributes to a happy retirement lifestyle. You might decide to declutter and stay where you are or move into a smaller home. Whatever you decide, the goal is to make aging in place easier and more comfortable while reducing the risks of living independently.

Perhaps you purchased a larger home to raise a family. Now that the children are grown, as an empty nester, the house is too large for just one or two. So, here are some tips for downsizing and making your home more comfortable.

Start With a Plan

It can be tempting to just jump in and start sending stuff to the Sally Ann. But a downsizing plan makes the process go quicker, easier and makes it clearer what needs to go.

If you plan to move into a smaller home or senior living community, start packing a few boxes daily so packing doesn’t become a massive chore on moving day.

If you plan to stay where you are but want to declutter, think through what makes something valuable to you. Is it frequency of use? The original cost? Gifts? Sentimental items? Lifestyle? Safety?

Consider Safety and Home Hazards for Falls

When choosing a new home, or modifying your current one, consider your safety. Falls can happen to anyone, but the risk increases as we age. Look carefully at the details of your home to see what might be a problem later. An easy change now might be a monumental task years from now when it will really matter.

Most home hazards that cause falls could be removed fairly easily. Here are a few to look for –

  • Poor lighting
  • Clutter
  • Slippery surfaces, especially in the bathroom
  • Tripping over objects, especially on the stairs
  • Loose rugs
  • No grab bars
  • Unsteady furniture

When you are downsizing or modifying your home when you retire, it is an ideal time to consider a tub to shower conversion. You can modify your existing tub in just a few hours. DIY or have it installed by a professional.

A tub to shower conversion reduces the risk of bathroom falls quickly and inexpensively. You can choose an option to still use the tub for soaking or just for showers if you prefer.

Consider a tub to shower conversion as part of your downsizing plan when you retire.