By Joy Gerardi, Broker Associate, GRI, ABR, Senior Specialist
Moving to a new home can be exciting! You find a new spot and you fall in love with the home. Sounds easy, right? But before you know it, you have a laundry list of things to do and you are now wondering, what did I get myself in to? There are few things in life that are more stressful or difficult than moving. It is not easy for anyone. And it certainly is more difficult on Seniors. The amount of work that lies ahead can be daunting. But people get through it everyday and so can you.
Then there is another side to moving when you are a Senior. Sometimes, you don’t want the move. You are happy where you are but everyone else is telling you it is the right thing to do. Your children are worried about your safety or who is going to care for the home. It is a hard part of the aging process. When did I get to the point where my children are telling me what to do? It must not be a fun spot to be in. However sometimes the hardest things for us to do are the biggest reliefs once they are done. The freedom of not having to worry about that big home or yard anymore can really be just the thing you need.
If moving is on the agenda, look for a Realtor who specializes in working with Seniors. Find the right fit for you. If the idea of decluttering and getting your home ready to sell is overwhelming to you, a good realtor will walk you through the whole process. Realtors that work with Seniors have a team of people that are needed for a smooth, successful move. They work with organizers, professional movers, estate sale companies and estate attorneys. A good Realtor comes in and will help with these decisions. It can be stressful physically and emotionally going through this process. This was your home, where you raised your family and now you are just getting rid of it all. The right Realtor will realize that and give you the help you need. It is not just about selling your home but helping you through the whole process.
Plan ahead and start early. There is plenty you can do before you put your home on the market. When Seniors move it is usually into a smaller home, retirement home or assisted living. Generally you are moving from a large home where you have accumulated decades of stuff. Garages filled with things that you have had since the kids were all at home. It is time to start organizing and letting go. The first step. Determine what furniture you want to bring with you. What will fit in a smaller home. Do you need all the outdoor items where you are going to? Next, call the kids. Let them know that it all has to go. Have them come and take what they may want. The key is to have them take it. The next part is a harder process. The memories and many things that are hard to let go of. Take time to clarify which possessions are really important to you, not just what you are used to having around. Moving can be expensive. The more “stuff” you have, the more it costs. Don’t move things that you don’t need. I suggest 3 piles: keep, donate and trash. Start with the attic, garage and closets. Then go to rooms you rarely use. If the room is not used chances are neither is the stuff that is in the room. These rooms are easier to clear out. You could even start with a garbage bag a day. Fill one garbage bag each day with things to throw out. The more you do, the easier it becomes. Remember, it took you years, perhaps decades to accumulate all of it so it will take time to go through it as well. But do know the two things that you can do to your home to get its best value with the least amount of money are decluttering and cleaning.
So, if you are thinking it is time to settle into something smaller, find yourself a professional Realtor who works with Seniors and start packing little by little. Ask for a little help from loved ones and friends, donate to people who will give new life to some of your older things, Let go of the things you haven’t touched in years and before you know it, you will be settled into your new home.