5 Steps to a Stress-free Downsizing or Retirement Move


Are you planning to downsize or move soon?

If you are, it’s important to be prepared. While retirement can be an extremely rewarding experience, it can also come with a few challenges – especially when a major move or relocation is on the horizon. Two decisions you’ll need to make when planning your retirement are where and how you want to spend it.

If a move or relocation is part of your downsizing or retirement plan, consider taking these five steps to start you on your next move and next step.

1. Start Planning Early

  • Create a moving budget that aligns with the timing of your move – summer is peak season, so it may be worth it to relocate in the fall.
  • Consider your new lifestyle goals – desired distance to family, specifications of your future community, accessibility to hobbies and key interests.
  • Begin planning at least one year before your move date – creating more opportunity to conduct the proper research to accomplish the goals you’ve set.
  • Create a moving check list, consisting of the various tasks that need to be completed before, during and after your transition.

2. Clean and Declutter

If you’re feeling that throughout the years you’ve accumulated an overwhelming amount of stuff, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent U.S. Department of Energy study found that 25% of Americans with two-car garages don’t have room to park their cars in them, while 32% of them have room for only one car.

  • Take inventory of the items in your home and garage – note what you are going to pack, donate, store or throw away. If the thought of this overwhelms you, take a sneak peek at step #5.
  • Get rid of your old and unwanted possessions, saving you time and energy in the front end by not bringing junk to your new home.
  • Clean, clean, clean! If you haven’t mopped the kitchen floor in a while, now is the time to do it. A thorough cleaning makes your home more attractive for sale and often brings forgotten items to the surface.

3. Remedy Any Home Defects That Might Jeopardize the Sale

  • Take care of the “make or break” items – all things structural and mechanical, such as roof, heating and air conditioning systems and electrical wiring.
  • Fix the knicks and scrapes on your walls, and apply a new coat of neutral-colored paint – replenish the cosmetics for a fresh look.
  • Go for the “quick wins” – like fixing leaking faucets, clogged plumbing or chipped tiles.

4. Hire a REALTOR®

  • They can help identify qualified buyers and assist with staging your home.
  • Take advantage of their knowledge in pricing your home and understanding how to properly market it.
  • They can help you navigate multiple offers and guide you through the closing process.

5. Hire a Professional Mover

  • Professional movers can assist with packing, even in the early declutter stage, using new and appropriate packing materials that provide the highest level of protection for your household goods.
  • Professional movers have the proper training, experience and equipment to transport and arrange your belongings just where you want them.
  • Sometimes moves aren’t door-to-door and if you are left without a space to keep your household goods, then you will have to find one that does. We recommend using a mover that can offer you safe and secure temporary storage.

For help in selecting the right mover for your next move, check out our previous blog post, “What to Look for When Choosing a Mover.”

Retiring gives you the opportunity to make a fresh start, whether that means recreating your dream home by decluttering and downsizing, or finding a new one in a different place altogether. Planning ahead, partnering with a reputable realtor and choosing a professional mover can help you avoid overwork or injury, and create a smooth transition on your journey to your move and next step.

For downsizing and retirement moves contact a member of our client services team for help planning or executing your retirement move or location.

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