At some point, most aging adults will face the likelihood that they will need to downsize from their current living situation. There are many reasons why downsizing is popular among older adults such as wanting to be closer to grandchildren, simplifying their lifestyle with less “stuff”, addressing their partner’s medical needs or their own, or to cut costs to save for a fun retirement. Changing your lifestyle that you have been living for the last 30+ years can seem daunting and stressful, but we are here to help!
Downsizing can be emotionally taxing. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you have a plan to downsize. Here are some tips to help you or someone in your life downsize their living situation to make that transition into retirement easier.
Tips to Make Downsizing Easier
Make A Plan
No matter how long you think this process will take, it will inevitably take longer than you planned. Give yourself time to create a plan of attack on how you plan on downsizing. Create a realistic timeline for yourself so that you can set benchmarks you can actually achieve to stay on goal.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Going through the entire house you’ve lived in will take time and you don’t want to make rushed decisions about keepsakes and belongings just because you didn’t give yourself enough time. Give yourself a couple of weeks to maybe even a couple of months to go through your belongings, sorting through what you want to keep, donate, pass along to friends/family, and trash.
Start Sorting Smart
Most people have things in their homes that they know they want to get rid of. If you are a hoarder, like me, you have lots of piles of things you want to get rid of. And that’s a perfect place to start! Start smarter by getting rid of things that first come to mind when decluttering your home.
Another piece of great advice is to start your decluttering process in an area with little to no emotional attachment. Think of this as your possible mud-room/laundry room, a linen closet, a guest-bedroom closet that’s full of clothes that never see the light of day. These are some examples of good places to start decluttering.
A big part of sorting smarter is understanding your needs and your future needs. If you are moving from a large home or townhome into a small tiny house, you won’t need as many towels, sheets, chairs, etc. You need to know what type of space you are moving into so you can plan accordingly when sorting through your belongings.
Do’s & Don’t of Decluttering
Don’t keep duplicate items - do you really need all those pots and pans? Nope!
Don’t make a Maybe pile - Only Yes or No piles here!
Do pack all your keeper items first, then decide what to do with the items that didn’t make the cut.
Don’t move the stuff you don’t want - moving isn’t cheap so be diligent when sorting and just know that less is more when it comes to stuff.
Do sell items that you won’t have room for - outdoor tools and clean office furniture sell well at garage sales or for consignment.
Don’t be afraid to sell your things, yourself - apps like OfferUp, Letgo, ThredUP, Poshmark, Depop, VarageSale, 5miles, Shpock, and Facebook are here to make selling your items easier.
Do let go of items that have been sitting on a shelf or in a closet for over a year.
Don’t take all your collectibles with you - pick out a couple of items that have the most value to you, and either donate or sell the rest to someone who will enjoy them also.
Do take photos of your collectibles - a collection of nutcrackers or Hummel figurines(hi, Mom) takes up a lot of space when being stored. If you take photos of your collection, you can always look at them on your phone or print them out to display on the walls at your new place.
As you start going through your old photo albums and start moving souvenirs from past family vacations, the memories from these sentimental items might start to creep forward in your mind. We all deal with our emotions differently, so just know it is okay to stop decluttering and let the nostalgia and happy memories have their moment. It’s a great feeling to remember exactly what you were doing, who you were with, what country you were in when you look at something special you own.
Decluttering can bring up a lot of memories and emotions for people as they start planning this next chapter of their lives. You are not alone in this journey and no one can take those memories away from you! Just remember to stay on course, and keep the possessions that bring you happy memories and not clutter.
Another great tip we recommend when decluttering is getting your friends and family involved in the process. Sharing those memories with your grandchildren is absolutely priceless. And since younger generations are usually more technologically inclined than you may, or may not be, they can also help you sell those items online.
Bonding over the memories in your old house, going through old photos and sharing generational stories together is one of the best parts of decluttering with family and friends. Your family is one the most important things in your life, not the clutter around you so take that as motivation to have your family help you in the transition process.
Senior Moving Options
Since you have packed up all your belongings, decluttered your house and donated everything you realized you could live without, it is finally time to move. Are you planning on asking family members to help you move? Or have you looked into full-service movers to help you make your move?
We found a great moving option online that is known as senior move specialists. Whether you are moving into an assisted senior living facility, a nursing community or into a smaller home or townhome, these senior movers are there to help you. Check out the National Association of Senior Move Managers to find a senior move specialist near you!
A Tiny House - Downsizing Made Easy
Hopefully, when you started your plan to downsize, you had your final destination in mind. Are you moving into an apartment complex? Are you moving in with one of your family members? Are you selling everything and living off-grid in an RV?
If you don’t know exactly what that next step is, we would like to share an opportunity with you that is an affordable downsizing option for the next chapter of your life. We understand this option won’t fit everyone’s wants or needs, but it might be one option that hasn’t been presented to you yet, so… what if you moved into your own Tiny House?
Our Tiny Houses are 399 square feet and are all first-floor, furniture-friendly homes. This means you can keep your queen-sized bed and not have to climb upstairs into bed every night as some other tiny home manufacturers build. We also build small and large porches that can be added on to any tiny home for additional, functional space.
Those smaller, trendy tiny homes are very cute but are not usually built for someone who is planning to downsize. Even if you are fit, they are not the best long-term housing option.
We design and build our Tiny Houses 4+ feet wider than most RVs/campers and are crafted with full-sized furniture-friendliness in mind so that you can personalize your tiny house to fit your lifestyle and fit all your most prized belongings.
Tiny House Movement
One of the best parts of the tiny house movement for seniors is that now, tiny house senior living communities are popping up all over the country. Not only do you get to live on your own in a cute, energy-efficient tiny home, but you can also live in a community of people just like you. You get to keep your independence by living in your own home and now, you have less home to take care of because you have more important things to do like spending time with your grandchildren, picking up a hobby you put off for 60+ years or road-tripping the country to visit all 50 States.
There are many great reasons to go tiny, such as living with less non-essential “stuff”, having a smaller environmental footprint in a smaller home, having less laundry to do(yaaas), and living closer to the ones you love. But the best reason to downsize to a Tiny Home is to continue your independence in a home of your own.
We want to help you downsize, so if you are interested in downsizing to a tiny home, or know someone who is, you can check out our tiny home floorplans here.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of tiny houses and tiny homes. They make a great news story, but tiny houses are actually a great, liveable way downsize from a traditional house as well as offer a smaller green-footprint since it takes less of everything to maintain it. Not all tiny houses are created equal and that is why we are here to help you with your tiny house hunt!
What to look for in a Tiny House
When you start looking at tiny houses online, many retailers sell tiny house kits that you are going to have to put together yourself. These kits are a great idea especially if you are very handy and feel confident in building something to this magnitude. They are totally customizable and a great project to work on if you have the time and of course, the craftsman skills. But for most of us humans, purchasing a tiny house that is already built is the best option.
You want to make sure the floorplan is spacious for being smaller in square feet. The floorplan really dictates how the small amount is space is used and how functional your living is going to be. Here are some things to look for when you are looking into purchasing a tiny house.
Sturdy construction - This is crucial! A tiny home with 2x6 floor joists is ideal because this isn’t a shed turned into a house. This is the home that you live in full time so it must be sturdy.
Master craftsmanship - Check the quality of the cabinets, thickness of the walls, countertop materials. You’ll know if it feels flimsy or is poor quality.
Wider interior space - A wider tiny house allows you to fit full-sized furniture in the space comfortably without having everything on top of each other.
Functional floorplan - That leads to the next point of looking at the floorplan of the tiny house. You want to live in a space that is liveable, especially if you are downsizing from what you are currently living in. Just because you are going to be living in a smaller house, doesn’t mean you should have to compromise on your comfort level. Being able to have a king-sized bed in the bedroom and a normal-sized couch in the living room is important to a functional space.
Exterior materials - The outside is just as important as the interior. You want a long-lasting residential siding that is hail and termite resistant and a good metal or shingle roof to protect your tiny house from the elements. Smart panel siding looks beautiful and holds up great out in the elements.
Longstanding company - See how long the manufacturer has been in business. If they have only been building homes for a few years, they won’t have the experience that other reputable manufacturers will have. Just something to consider when making such a big financial decision.
One of the coolest parts of this tiny house movement is that so many tiny homes can be customized. You can build your own tiny house and customize almost everything in it! Once you pick out a floorplan that will work for your lifestyle, you can customize and upgrade almost all the features inside and outside to make your very own, unique tiny house.
Our tiny houses are built 4+ feet wider than most RV’s/campers and are designed with full-sized furniture-friendliness in mind so that you can personalize your tiny house to fit your lifestyle needs.
The biggest advice I can give about purchasing a tiny home is to make sure your purchase reflects your lifestyle. If you want a tiny house that can be physically moved when you want to move, make sure it is possible because that will affect your lifestyle. If you plan to purchase a tiny home for a family member, make sure it fits their daily and long-term living needs.
Those super small, modern tiny homes with upstairs lofts for sleeping look great and are very cool. And will stay cool for a couple of years. But then the coolness will fade and it won't be as much of a novelty anymore.
In five-plus years from now, are you really going to want to climb into bed every night? And in many of those tiny houses, you can’t even stand up on the bed which seems like that would affect your posture getting in and getting out of bed every day. I say that as I sit here crouched over my keyboard typing this blog, so I might not be the one to talk about posture but you get what I mean.
When you are ready to start living in your big Tiny House, start your search here!
We are proud to be back at the 2019 State Fair of Texas at Dallas' legendary Fair Park historic district.
Starting on Friday September 27 and lasting till October 20th, join Tiny House Direct as we feature two of our best-selling Tiny Homes on display, including our Tiny Hacienda model, winner of Season 8 on Tiny House Hunters as seen on HGTV. We will have tiny home specialists there to answer all of your questions about our tiny homes and tiny living as well as to do quotes on brand new tiny homes.
Located In front of the Children's Aquarium and across from the Butterfly Gardens on First Avenue inside the Fair Park grounds, we will have a State Fair special going on for the whole stretch of the fair.
We absolutely love the sights, the sounds, and the smells of the State Fair and hope you can join Tiny House Direct. We are also an un-approved Fletchers Corn Dog eating facility and can't get enough lemonade that is for sure.
The trend is Tiny. The time is Tiny. Tiny Houses are the next generation of affordable housing! We feel we make the most liveable Tiny House on the market that have functional floorplans suitable for 21st century living. Our Tiny homes are all under 399 square feet, and there are a couple of floorplans to choose from. The Tiny Hacienda(our best-seller!) has a liveable bedroom that can fit a king sized bed plus nightstands, a private bathroom, tons of built-in storage, a kitchen/dining space, and a living space fit for full sized furniture.
Going Tiny doesn’t mean giving up your personal space or the ability to have functional storage. There are some tiny houses on the market that are so small that the bed is above the kitchen area, and you have to climb up a ladder to get into bed every night. While those tiny Tiny houses look trendy online and have a very small eco footprint, they are not suitable for everyone! Our Tiny Houses are built 4+ feet wider than most RV’s/campers, and are designed with full-sized furniture-friendliness in mind so that you can personalize your Tiny House to fit your lifestyle needs.
Another great design feature with our Tiny Homes is the option to add on a covered porch! This allows your Tiny House to have an extended covered lounging area that not only adds square footage, but adds another living space outside your home. Plus the covered porch makes your house look like a home, and less like a fancy shed. Let’s be clear though, there’s nothing wrong with a fancy shed!
With less square footage that a site-built home, you have a less floor space and countertops to clean which is a huge draw to going Tiny. Many of our customers love having less house to clean and having less clutter in their home. Another huge draw in going Tiny is your Tiny House creates a much smaller eco footprint than a traditional site-built home. Whatever motivates you to go Tiny, we encourage you to check out our Tiny House models and start living Tiny today!