Downsizing Tips for Seniors: How to Downsize for Retirement (8 STEPS)

Happy mature couple moving into their new home, beautiful woman smiling to the camera showing key to the house, copy space| Downsizing Tips for Seniors: How to Downsize for Retirement | Featured

Downsizing is a great move for seniors looking to retire. It can help cut costs, simplify your living situation, and bring focus on the things that matter. Whether it's to save money to fulfill your new dream or relax in your later years, here are some downsizing tips for seniors.

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8 Great Downsizing Tips for Seniors

How to Downsize for Retirement (8 STEPS)

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Step 1: Make a Must-Have Checklist for Your New Home

person writing on paper using yellow and black pen | checklist for seniors downsizing

The objective of downsizing is to make your life simpler. Whether you imagine your dream home to be Victorian or Colonial, there are some things that should rank higher on your wishlist.


Downsizing is meant to improve your current situation. If you've been living in a high-maintenance home that keeps you on your toes, it's time to move to one that will keep you cozy and off your feet. If you're looking to save on mortgage payments, consider a home that's built just for you and the missus.

Consider your current situation and list the things that will turn your house into a home.

Make a checklist of things that your new home must absolutely have. It will most likely include the items below.

  • location
  • price
  • amenities
  • bedrooms and baths

Your personal list could even include measures that make sure the kids can't move back home.

Step 2: Do the Research

downsizing for seniors | downsizing for seniors

Use your personal checklist as a guide to research for the best homes.

You can browse online so you get plenty of options and variety. It will also give you a picture of what types of homes are available in the market.


A more popular option is to get help from a real estate agent who will be able to find a home the checks off all of your boxes.

After defining places of interest, it's time for the crucial next step.

Step 3: Choose Your New Home

house lights turned on | tips for downsizing for seniors

Whether you rent a home or buy a new property, this is one of the important first steps. Narrow down your list and commit to one property that best fits your needs and wants.

Only after you choose your new home will you be able to determine what comes with you.

Now that you have a new home, you'll know what kind of space you'll be working with. From this, you can gauge which items deserve a slot and which memorabilia to leave in the past.

Trimming down baggage can also help you and your family move forward.

Step 4: Pack Up and Go

crop man packing carton box with scotch tape dispenser | downsizing help for seniors

Pack up the things you've tagged and leave the rest of your items behind. But this doesn't mean that those things are completely out of use. They could still be very helpful to others.

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Step 5: Give Your Remaining Items to Family and Friends

family gathering during thanksgiving | checklist for seniors downsizing

Home downsizing and baggage downsizing come hand in hand.

After you've sorted and packed the things you'll be bringing to your new home, contact your family and friends. Invite them to check out the things you'll be leaving behind. You may not want them anymore, but they could be exactly what others need.

You might know others who might be interested in the things you have.

Avoid inviting everyone at once and creating a free-for-all situation. This could lead to a burdensome situation and some very frustrated people. Begin with the most precious people in your life, then work your way down the list.

  • kids
  • cousins
  • uncles and aunts
  • friends
  • neighbors, etc.

If not everything was taken, don't fret. There are other ways to clear out your inventory and make sure they end up in good hands.

Step 6: Consider an Estate Sale or Donating

person in black leather boots sitting on brown cardboard boxes | downsizing for seniors

The best case is that nothing gets left behind after your family and friends have scavenged through the rest of your belongings. But in reality, you can expect that not everything will find a new home. In this case, consider holding an estate sale or donating the rest of your items to charity, the salvation army, etc.

One man's trash could be another man's treasure. Otherwise, hire professionals.

Step 7: Consider a Hauling Service

delivery man wearing a face mask carrying boxes | tips for downsizing for seniors

Today's hauling services don't just dispose and dump your trash or the things you want to leave behind. Nowadays they provide services that make sure recyclable items are recycled and other items are donated.

A hauling service could pack all your things in one sweep – good and done. This could cut down your to-do list and avoid unnecessary hassle.

Step 8: Stage Your Old Home

living room | downsizing help for seniors

Now that you've cleared your old house, it's time to make it look like a home again. To make your old place market-worthy and buyer-ready, it's important to stage it properly.

Work with your realtor or with his network of home stagers to get your property ready for sale. This could help you get the best possible value for your home, which could in turn help pay off your new one.

Downsizing for seniors looking forward to retirement is as easy and could be summarized in eight simple steps. It's an exciting new solution to your problems and a new adventure to kick off your retirement years. Whether you want a home with simpler and lower upkeep and maintenance, or one more suited to your senior lifestyle downsizing could be a much-needed (and well-deserved) upgrade.

Here’s an instructographic guide. Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy instructographic for reference:

How to Downsize for Retirement

While you may encounter some challenges along the way, I hope these tips for downsizing seniors help you navigate through hurdles or avoid them altogether. You may even find it difficult to let go of your old home and the memories you've injected within its walls, but keep in mind that downsizing is also about moving forward.

It's a practical step forward that can bring positive change to your life and help maintain that retirement fund.

Now make sure to check out this video below for more comprehensive downsizing tips:

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