For many seniors in the Chattanooga area, moving or downsizing to a smaller home can be physically and emotionally challenging. After raising a family or spending a good portion of their adult lives in one home, it’s often difficult to think about putting it on the market.
The process does not have to be as stressful as you might imagine. In fact, a new industry of “senior move managers” has emerged to help baby boomers transition to the next phase of their lives.
The National Association of Senior Move Managers (www.nasmm.org) provides valuable moving resources and a directory of senior move managers across the country.
Because of the memories associated with a home and its belongings collected over a lifetime, it can be difficult for seniors – and often their family members and loved ones – to make decisions about what to keep and what to give away.
Here are the three key things seniors should consider before they begin the downsizing process:
It takes time
It’s hard to imagine moving out of a home in which you have lived for so long. Likewise, organizing all the steps involved in a move can be overwhelming. Be sure to give yourself enough time to process the changes that will be taking place.
Support is important
Downsizing can be physically and emotionally draining for both you and your family. Make sure you have a support system in place before you begin. This task is too arduous to take on alone. If family or friends are not available, senior move managers can be a great option to consider.
Don’t let your belongings hold you back
It can be challenging to decide what to keep and what to part with, but you should not let that process be a burden. You can take the most important items with you, and your support system can help you decide what should be sold, donated or given to another family member.
Look forward to new memories
Remember, you will create new memories in your next home. Consider alternatives like senior housing communities, which often feature swimming pools, fitness centers, movie theaters and social events. Additionally, the floor plans are designed to accommodate seniors’ changing needs.
Check out award-winning senior communities at www.nahb.org/55PlusAwards.
To consult a professional that can help you find suitable senior housing, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga online directory at www.hbagc.net.