When is the right time to downsize and move?

I get calls all the time from adult children and prospective residents to say they are contemplating a possible move and downsize, but don’t know where to move to and they don’t know what needs to be done. The resident sits on those thoughts, sometimes for months or a year. Then I get the phone call from the adult children, that their parents had a stroke, or they are in the hospital, or broke a hip and they cannot return home. If they can return home, they have no energy or ability to go through the house. Plus, they have multiple doctor’s visits, which takes them out of the house.

My recommendation is start NOW with a plan. We never know what will happen tomorrow. We don’t plan for a stroke, breaking a body part, or being diagnosed with a terminal disease. While you are healthy and able, take one room at a time. Go through drawers, closets and cabinets. Discard or donate items you don’t use or are broken, torn, or just don’t work. Don’t save empty shoe boxes or small boxes that did hold jewelry or outdated excess items you never used. It takes up space. And if we work in your home, we recycle the boxes and don’t use them for packing.

Also, put a plan together, which really is the first action step. Do you want to live near your children (in state or out of state)? Go visit your children and stay in a hotel or apartment for 2 to 3 weeks as an investigative trial, and research that area. What are your expectations? What are your wants and needs? Do you want to walk everywhere (grocery, pharmacy, shopping) or do you need public transportation? What is really important to you? Have discussions with your children/family. Do your children transfer with their jobs frequently? There is a lot of decision making, before you ever move.

But what is easy, is to start de-cluttering your home today. Take an hour to focus on a drawer, a closet or section of the basement. You might be laughing when I say an hour, but we think a drawer might take 5 minutes and two hours goes by.