If your spouse passed away, you may be looking at your big house and wondering if you still need to be there. It’s not just the memories. As a senior, that old house is getting annoying to maintain and clean. You also have a lot of room that you don’t need.
That’s why you should consider downsizing your home. There are several benefits that come with selling your old, big home and moving into a smaller one. Even if you have many possessions or suffer from Alzheimer’s, downsizing is still a great choice.
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How You Benefit From Downsizing After The Death
There are three benefits you can expect from downsizing: saving money, improving safety, and moving forward.
There are some financial benefits from moving into a smaller house. Chances are, your new rent or mortgage payments each month will be cheaper. If you already paid off the old house, selling it can pay for a cheaper place while giving you a nice nest egg.
For some seniors, that old house is getting too big. A smaller home can make it easier if you have health problems as you get older. You’ll have less area to keep clean, there’s less maintenance, and if stairs are becoming a problem, you can get a new home without any.
But downsizing can also help you move forward after the death of a spouse. You have plenty of memories tied to that place, and it’s easy to keep being reminded of the loss. Moving to a new home isn’t forgetting your spouse; it’s being able to live without them.
Tips For Downsizing Effectively
You’ve agreed to the benefits of downsizing after the passing of your spouse, and you’ve even found a great home. Now comes the hard part: deciding what to pack. Because you’re moving into a smaller home, you won’t have the space for everything you own. You need to downsize your possessions as well.
Senior Living has some great suggestions for downsizing as a senior, including some suggestions on sorting your belongings. You use a simple four-color system:
- Red is for belongings you absolutely will save like heirlooms.
- Orange is for things you might want to save but aren’t sure it’s worth bringing with you.
- Blue is for items you can give away to family or donate.
- Black is for possessions you can recycle or throw out.
You can even use small, colored stickers to quickly sort your belongings. This can save you a lot of time when you start packing.
This process will take time, as you will likely want to reminisce when going through all your possessions. Don’t wait until the day before moving to sort through everything. Instead, start weeks ahead of time so you can do a little at a time. This is especially true when going through the belongings of your late spouse. Give yourself time to grieve and remember.
When Alzheimer’s Complicates Things
If you sometimes struggle with Alzheimer’s, finding the right house and sorting through your belongings can be hard. The Maine Senior Guide has some recommendations to make this process easier for you:
- Start packing and even the move itself during times of the day you’re at your best. If your Alzheimer’s seems to fade in the mid-morning, do as much work at that time as possible.
- Get help from someone you trust, not just for the packing, but to help you if things get bad.
- Be prepared for this move to be emotional or even overwhelming at times. Combining Alzheimer’s and grieving the loss of a spouse means there will be times when you have to just stop and do something else for a while.
You Can Downsize
Moving as a senior might not be the easiest thing to do, especially after losing a spouse. But there are many benefits to downsizing. If you sort through your belongings effectively and take steps to make the move easier, you can not just get through it – you can live better because of it.
By: Stephanie Mitchell