Your Ultimate Guide on Organizing, Planning, and Preparing for Downsizing
Free Yourself from Home Maintenance by Moving into an Active Adult Apartment
At a certain point in life, active adults begin to prioritize leisure time over hours spent on housework and yard work. They would rather spend their spare funds on vacations, gifts, and their grandchildren than on paying for building materials for home repairs or hiring a handyman or contractor. When you reach this point, it’s time to consider downsizing and relocating to a 55+ active adult community.
Use this handy guide to organizing, planning, and preparing to downsize your home for inspiration on the next steps you should take to begin enjoying every minute of the rest of your life!
Choosing Your 55+ Active Adult Apartment or Luxury Cottage
Everyone’s needs are different, so start your preparation for downsizing by determining what, exactly, you’re looking for in an active adult living community like Larkspur at Shadow Creek in Pearland, Texas. Consider apartment size, floor plans, nearby leisure activities and amenities, and location within the city.
Take a look at your monthly budget and calculate how much money you could afford to spend on rent and utilities in a 55+ apartment. Use this as a starting point when you begin searching for new places to live; you can eliminate those communities that fall too far outside your price range, and create a short list of communities you’d like to tour and learn more about.
Deciding What to Move into Your New 55+ Apartment
Once you’ve selected your new apartment, use the floor plan and room dimensions to decide what furniture you already own that you’ll keep, and where you might place these in your new home. If you’re unsure of room dimensions, call the apartment community office and inquire. Knowing this information is key to later steps in the downsizing process.
When you’re selecting furniture to take with you, choose your highest quality pieces in the best condition. Don’t keep furniture that requires extensive repairs, or that is already flimsy or deteriorating. Take the opportunity to replace furniture pieces that are in a state of disrepair, or mattresses that are aging. You can have the new items delivered straight to your new apartment without having to pay movers to relocate your old furniture. Discard it before you go.
Sorting and Organizing Your Possessions for Simplified Relocation
Working room by room, pare down your possessions and sort them into four piles: keep, toss, sell, and donate. Don’t attempt to sort and organize your entire home in one day or even one week. Spend time, spread out over the course of a month or so, so you don’t feel overly stressed or emotional during the process.
If you come across items that you aren’t sure what to do with, go ahead and keep them for now. You can always decide later after you’ve moved into your new 55+ apartment. For all other items, create boxes or piles for each of these categories:
- Keep. These items you will pack and move into your new luxury apartment or cottage. If you’re already preparing to move, you can pack any items that aren’t necessities for daily living. Sort like items together so you can place them into boxes together. For example, all your bath towels from your personal and guest bathrooms could go in one box so you know where all the towels are. Carefully label your keep boxes with clear descriptions about what’s inside.
- Sell. The items you place in this pile should be worth at least $10 to $15 each at a minimum and be in-demand. This minimum price range ensures it’s worth your time to list the items for sale or find a new home for them. You can list items for sale online in local marketplaces and get a good idea of what to sell them for by looking at comparable items for sale. Just be sure to coordinate pick-up times in a public location. Some local police departments invite local sales to take place in their parking lot, for safety.
- Donate. Any items you don’t want, that are below your minimum sales price, can be donated to your favorite charity thrift store. Some will even pick up the items. Consider donating spare kitchenware, furniture, clothing, linens, and books.
- Toss. This pile contains items you don’t need and items that are not in good enough condition to give to someone else. Check to see if recycling programs are available in your community before you throw them away. If necessary, rent a dumpster from your garbage pick-up service or a third-party dumpster rental company. They’ll park it in front of your house for easy disposal.
Selling Your House
When you’re ready to prepare your home to sell, you’ll probably want to contact a local real estate agent who is an expert in your community. Ask family and friends for their recommendations. You don’t have to settle on the first agent you speak to; interview a couple to ask them about how they might market your home for sale and hear their recommendations on pricing and preparing it for listing.
When you choose your agent, listen carefully to what they tell you to do to prepare your home for photos and showings. Most agents will recommend you simply declutter and clean; some might suggest making minor repairs or updates to maximize the sales price of your home. Do what you’re comfortable with, and ask to see comparable homes on the market if you’re unsure about what your agent is recommending. When you sell your home, every decision you make should be your own to ensure you’re happy with the outcome.
Hiring Moving Help
When it’s time to move your belongings from your home and into your new apartment, you’ll likely be choosing from one of three moving styles.
First, you can handle a move on your own. This is called DIY, or “do it yourself.” In this method of moving, you are responsible for renting a moving van and dolly, packing up all your belongings, and loading and unloading them. This is the least expensive option, but the most labor-intensive for you.
Another option is to hire a moving company. Depending on the company you hire, they might come and pack up your home for you, or simply load and unload your possessions into their truck. This option tends to be the most expensive, and costs will vary depending on the weight of your possessions inside the truck.
A third option blends the two. Following this method, you’ll pack your own belongings into boxes and rent a moving van, but hire labor-only movers to handle all the loading and unloading. Many people opt for this because the heavy lifting on moving day is taken care of, so you have plenty of energy left to begin unpacking necessities on the first day in your new home.
If you intend to rent a van or hire movers, you’ll need to make reservations in advance, no less than two weeks, ideally. The longer you wait, the less likely you’ll get your first choice in moving companies or the right size moving van – if you can find one at all.
Tour our Active Adult Living Community near Sugar Land and Houston, Texas
Larkspur at Shadow Creek in Pearland, Texas, gives you everything you need to partake in fun activities, participate in new adventures, and make like-minded friends in a stunning, luxury community.
Take a tour of Larkspur at Shadow Creek to see our well-appointed 55+ apartments and our 18,000 square feet of amenities for yourself. Imagine yourself living here, and get ready to embrace a fulfilling new lifestyle in a community designed especially for active adults.
Call us at 346-512-2182 to make a tour appointment.