The Benefits of Downsizing
You’ve spent a lifetime making your house into a home. Your walls are lined with treasured photographs. The shelves are filled with beloved books. Each room is accented with mementos from special occasions and vacations. So why would you want to part with them? Downsizing your possessions — or your home — can be a challenge both physically and emotionally. But for many seniors, fewer belongings can lead to improved safety, stronger financial security and even a greater ability to enjoy their time as they wish.
Paring down your possessions does not mean having to throw out items with great sentimental value. But consider other objects that may be getting in your way—literally. When shelves and closets fill up, many people turn their staircases and hallways into improvised storage spaces. As NIH Senior Health mentions, though, clutter can cause slip and fall accidents. Getting rid of extraneous belongings such as old magazines, dated electronics and underused furniture can make your house a more organized and safer place.
How long does it take to dust your fine China? How many hours do you spend mowing the lawn, raking leaves or shoveling walkways each year? The fewer possessions you have, or the less square footage you own, the quicker you can take care of your household chores. So instead of tidying up your house, you can visit your grandchildren. Rather than cleaning out the rain gutters, you can play a round of golf.
Consider the size of your home. If you’re still paying a mortgage for the house in which your children grew up — children who no longer live in those vacant bedrooms — you may be spending more than necessary for your housing needs. Moving to a smaller home can significantly decrease your mortgage. If you choose to stay in your house, you can still get rid of that second car or antiques collection, save on their insurance costs and make a bit of money as well.
- Years of living in the same place can lead to the accumulation of unnecessary belongings.
- Getting rid of little used and obsolete items can reduce fall dangers.
- Fewer possessions can also allow for more time and financial freedom.