Downsize, or delay? Choose small-space living, like downsizing to a one-bedroom apartment, or stay in a too-large, empty-nester house? These are the big questions facing us as we age.
Downsizing to a one-bedroom apartment from a larger home, for example, may sound overwhelming, but consider the possible perils to delaying a move: Your home may become too much to manage or maintain and your health might suddenly change, meaning someone else could be making decisions for you in a crisis.
Choosing a smaller living space, like those found in a senior living community, may yield a host of unexpected benefits related to downsizing. But finding the right senior living community for you comes with its own list of considerations.
Overwhelmed? Don’t be – we’ll take this one step at a time.
First, let’s look at the merits of living in a smaller footprint. Then, let’s talk about how to tackle the task of downsizing your space. Finally, we’ll touch on the advantages of choosing a one-bedroom apartment in a senior living community.
The big perks of going small
There are a number of reasons why Americans of all ages now opt for the small-space lifestyle.
- Smaller homes require less upkeep and maintenance, and cost much less per square foot. No more mowing the lawn or, if you currently live up north, shoveling snow.
- Monthly utility bills tend to be much lower in a small apartment, especially going from a house that’s 3,500 square feet to a 900-square-foot home.
- Overall quality of life can actually be improved by living in a smaller space. That’s because people can become isolated living in their houses. Communal living – like at a senior living community – means there are always friends to visit with and new neighbors to run into at the fitness center or pool.
- A large home simply doesn’t fit the person’s current lifestyle. Think about it: Back when you had a house full of kids, you probably didn’t have enough living space (or enough bathrooms). But now that the children are grown and gone, how many rooms in your house do you regularly use? Chances are, it’s the kitchen, the bedroom, the master bath and the living room. The rest of the house you visit weekly to dust and vacuum.
These are all sound benefits to downsizing your home, however, there’s still the task of going through all the large pieces of furniture, heirlooms and memories in in your home and determining what to keep versus what to move with you to the smaller space.
So how do you go through the process of cleaning out an empty nest that’s not so empty of stuff?
The process of downsizing
The process of downsizing your home goes much easier if you have a plan. Here are a few tips:
The earlier, the better. Don’t wait until you have to make a move to begin downsizing. Start now, so you can take your time. It’ll always take longer than you think, and that’s ok. You might have lots of memories to go through. Set aside one weekend a month, or two evenings every week, until you’re finished. When you’re not rushed you can fully focus on your task.
Start small, then go big. You might be tempted to begin in your kitchen or bedroom – instead, start in a smaller room you haven’t used in a while, like the guest bathroom or spare bedroom. Create three separate categories for everything you touch: Keep, Discard, Donate. Then, as ruthlessly as you can, start sorting.
It can be helpful to ask your family members, like your grown children, to help out. They usually have much less emotional attachment to things than you do. (Unless your son is still holding on to his extensive collection of Hot Wheels, and your daughter is using her old bedroom closet to store her prom dresses. Then just use your best judgment.)
Pack backwards. This is a tip many professional home organizers use. Instead of picking out items you don’t want and then sorting through the rest, be selective. Pack only the items you want to keep. Everything that’s left can then be sorted into the Discard or Donate piles.
Get rid of rooms you won’t have in your new space. Your new home may not have a den, an attic or a basement – so let go of dusty holiday ornaments, the oversized desk and bookshelf, and other clutter. If you’re moving to a senior living community, you may not need the tools or yard implements in your garage. These are perfect items to sell in a garage sale.
Sell your stuff yourself. There are lots of ways to sell spare bedroom furniture, clothes, small kitchen appliances and more. Look at selling on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, yard sales, consignment shops and more.
Now you understand the advantages to choosing a smaller living space. And you have a downsizing plan. All that’s left to do is decide what your next move should be – and you want somewhere you can feel wholeheartedly happy and healthy. Might we suggest downsizing to a one-bedroom apartment at a senior living community?
Live large in a small apartment.
At a senior living community, living smaller doesn’t mean having less. Actually, it means having more: More access to community amenities, and more time to enjoy our engaging lifestyle.
That’s because unlike your current home, a senior living community like Abbey Delray provides you with time-saving services, including all home and property maintenance, housekeeping and security.
You also have a host of amenities available for you to enjoy, such as:
- chef-prepared meals and restaurant-style dining
- a fitness center with full-time fitness director
- a heated swimming pool and whirlpool
- a cocktail lounge (with regular happy hours!)
- a full monthly calendar of activities and events and full-time lifestyle director
- Billiards room, art studio and library
- Full-service beauty salon and barbershop
And believe it or not, this is just a partial list of services and amenities. Once you move in, you may not even realize how little time you spend in your apartment – and how much of your day is spent out and about, enjoying your community.
Look closer at Abbey Delray.
Our two one-bedroom floor plans, the Flamingo and the Dolphin, offer access to all the community benefits as our larger apartments, but at much smaller entrance fees and monthly fees. So you can live larger, for less.
To learn more, call us at 1.888.589.5778 or fill out the form on this page.