Ed and Sally own a large four bedroom house in Ottawa.
They moved in to the house as a young couple and raised three children over the 30 years that they have made it their home. They love the house, but now that their children are long gone many of the rooms are collecting dust.
Maintaining the yard is a chore and they are finding that three quarters of their house isn’t being used.
Sound familiar? This is a situation that many people find themselves in as they reach retirement age.
The answer may seem simple; just move to a smaller place.
However, for people that have lived in the same home for several, years this is no small task. Here are a few of the challenges that people may face when making the decision to downsize and move into a smaller home, and some tips on how to overcome them.
Memories in the house
If you’ve lived in your home for a long time, whether you have raised kids there or not, there will be lots of memories that have been created there.
From the marks on the door frame where you measured your children’s growth, to the kitchen where you hosted many a gathering, leaving the home may feel like you are leaving a lot of memories behind.
It is important to remember that those memories will always be with you, whether you can physically see where they occurred or not.
Keeping yourself rooted in the past and maintaining a house that is much too big for your needs is not going to add to your life. Keep the memories in the home as good ones and find somewhere more practical where you can continue to remember the good times while creating more positive memories moving forward.
Getting rid of stuff
Once you have decided to downsize your home you will probably have to downsize in all other aspects of your life as well. This may seem like an onerous task, especially if you have years of stuff packed away in corners of your house from different periods in your life.
It is important to give yourself enough time to go through every room in the house. Be strict with yourself about what to keep, donate and toss. Remember, if it has been packed away in a box for years, generally you don’t need it. Make sure you don’t have duplicates of items (no one needs five spatulas) and get creative with things like photographs and home videos. Digitizing your photos can be a great way to keep your memories alive while still condensing your library.
Finding a home that is right for you
When looking for your new home it is important to identify your needs. Are you at the stage of life that retirement living would be your best bet? Or are you just looking for a smaller place, where you can still do your own cooking and have the grand kids come and stay?
These days there is something for every need and budget out there but identifying those needs and searching the market can be overwhelming, especially as you move towards downsizing and packing up your life in your family home. A qualified real estate agent that is knowledgeable about downsizing and identifying their clients wants and needs can be very helpful in finding you the right home, at the right price.
Help them out by sitting down and identifying what you want your life to look like. After all, downsizing is about simplifying things, allowing you to focus on what is important to you as you move forward with this new, and exciting life stage.
Category: General, Selling Your Home, Finding a New Home, Moving