People nowadays crave a simpler life. As Baby Boomers enter retirement they have disposable income and time, two things they have not experienced simultaneously before. They want to travel, spend time on hobbies, visit their grandkids, and work on their bucket list. The things they spent working hard to obtain now encumber them, the biggest culprit being the large home and all the furniture. Is it time to downsize?
If you are one of these Baby Boomers looking to downsize (or as I like to call it, Freedom-Size) but you don’t know where to begin, here are a few tips to enter the new phase of your life.
Stop buying stuff!
No more “As seen on TV” purchases stop stocking up at Costco, and if you buy one sweater you need to get rid of 2. Eat out of the pantry so that you don’t need to move the 9 cans of tuna, and if you got carried away during the last sale of pasta, remember food banks will always take dry goods.
Recognize the possessions that are strangling you
Is it the house? The large yard? The horses? The ski mobiles that you haven’t used in 4 years? Start unloading the possessions that you don’t use. In some cases, these might be items in your home that you no longer even notice. Maybe it is the huge china cabinet? Go through your home room by room and make a list of what you really need (not what you want). Think about when you are on your boat, at your cabin, or in your RV. Few things are really necessary, you need little you need to get by and remember how nice it is not to have all those things to clean! Part of your enjoyment of those places you visit for vacation is the pleasure of a simpler lifestyle.
Get rid of the things
eBay, Consignment Shops, Craig’s List, Galleries, Auctioneers—there is no shortage of methods to sell your pre-owned items. Getting rid of family heirlooms or items that you are sentimentally attached to can be more difficult as younger family members tend to want new and modern. Don’t feel guilty about getting rid of these items. You won’t have room in your new house to move all the history with you, so keep a picture of heirloom furniture and take the actual piece to an antique dealer. You may not be able to part with things right away, so if that is the case I support getting a storage facility. But make yourself go through the storage unit after a year and get rid of the things that are left.
When it comes time to downsize and part with the large family home, there are often pangs of remorse. You are not just leaving a building, but often it means leaving your neighbors, neighborhood stores, and memories. I have actually seen homeowners remove and replace pieces of drywall with the markings of their children’s heights.
When you decide to downsize it is best to also downsize furniture. Rooms in your new house can be multiple-use flex space. There are great furniture components designed for efficiency that take up little space and can convert your sewing room to a guest room in less than a minute. Get a treadmill desk and combine your workout room with an office.
What do you get when you freedom size?
A smaller home, lower taxes, less maintenance, and a location of your choice-maybe on the water, better weather, or close to the grandkids. Select a house that is quality, has low maintenance costs, and will allow you to age in place.
What will you do with your freedom now that it is time to downsize? We have wonderful local service providers and resources to help you get started in your downsizing adventure. Call, text, or email us today for more information.
The Groesbeck Group