Reaching a certain age and retiring is, for many people, a period when they start reflecting on their life. This may be the time when you start considering leaving your old home behind and moving to a smaller property. Although decluttering has many benefits, it is usually easier said than done. However, once it’s over, you will most likely be thankful to yourself for deciding to go through with it. Some ideas for downsizing your property as a boomer and making it a perfect retirement property include decorating, downsizing your closet, organizing your garage, garden, or other outdoor spaces, and more. This article will go over the seven mental health benefits of downsizing in order to decide if and why moving to a smaller home would be the right next step in your life.
It helps reduce stress
Maintaining a spacious property is far from an easy task. Now – imagine having to do it in your old age. Retirement is supposed to be a period in a person’s life when they can finally step away from all responsibilities and enjoy some peace and quiet. However, that might not be as easy as it sounds if you have a large house to upkeep – especially if your children are long moved out and you have little or no help.
Moving out of a house and into a smaller apartment will help significantly reduce stress. You won’t have to worry about tedious cleaning that lasts an entire day – in a smaller living space, weekly cleaning might take you just a couple of hours. In order to make this process easier and more pleasant, we recommend you declutter your old house and clear accumulated stuff before moving into your new home. This way, you’ll avoid taking any unnecessary belongings with you.
It saves you a significant amount of money
An obvious advantage of downsizing is that you will be able to save up a lot on your monthly energy bills. No longer working means not having as much money to spend as you had before. Granted, you’ll have your pension, but do you really wish to spend your hard-earned money on the bills when you could have a nice dinner with your family, buy something nice for yourself or take a vacation trip to a country that you had never visited before? Have you ever thought about the difference between the bills for a big house and a small apartment? If not, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Another way to earn and save some money during the process of moving is to sell the stuff you no longer need. You can easily do this by listing your items on any online selling platforms. Some of the most commonly used ones are:
- Facebook Marketplace
If you aren’t too sure about how to use these online marketplaces, you could put the images of the items on your personal Facebook or Instagram profile. Granted, the audience won’t be as wide, but you never know – maybe your friends, or friends of your friends, will be interested in buying what you are selling.
Alternatively, you can donate your things to a local charity.
Allows for more free time
Retirement means you will finally have more time to spend on yourself and your hobbies. If you don’t have many maintenance tasks to perform in your place, the amount of your free time increases even more. Downsizing helps reduce all the work you need to do around your house and therefore helps you enjoy all your free time to the fullest – which is what all retired seniors deserve. Before reaching a decision to downsize, as before making any other decisions, it’s best to get informed on the topic. Consumer Opinion suggests that if your friends and family can’t be the ones to advise you, some of the websites on the internet can be helpful to you.
Increases your confidence
Showing your new place to your friends and family will feel so rewarding and is guaranteed to boost your confidence – especially when you know you’re responsible for organizing it. Smaller spaces are easier to decorate, tidy up and keep clean and organized at all times – so you’ll be able to keep your home beautiful and feel proud every time you present it to your guests.
Prevents you from feeling lonely
One of the mental health benefits of downsizing, if not the biggest one, is that you are bound to feel less alone in a place that is smaller and not as full of memories compared to a house where you’ve lived for most of your life. A big and empty house can feel daunting and overwhelming at times, especially if you are the only one living in it.
Moreover, moving to a smaller living space to be close to your friends and family is a great way to prevent feeling alone when you reach a certain age. It’s important to note that downsizing will by no means fix all your problems. If you are feeling sad or lonely, you should make sure to get the help you need and talk to a professional. If you don’t have the time or energy to book an in-person therapy session, a good option to consider is choosing an online therapy provider.
It makes you live in the present
Living in the same house for many years means that it is full of memories that you have been accumulating practically for an entire lifetime. Although in a way, being surrounded by all these memories is a beautiful thing, it may very easily provoke feelings of nostalgia and sadness. To put it simply – being constantly surrounded by memories can weigh you down emotionally. Getting rid of them by downsizing can be just the thing you need in order to free your mind, liberate yourself, and significantly improve your mental health. Think of your new apartment as a clean slate and a new beginning.
Prevents safety risks
Decluttering can also help remove safety hazards and reduce the risks of harming your well-being in any way, which is particularly important if you are an older person. Some of the things that you should keep a lookout for are:
- Cables or electricity chords lying on the ground – they are not easy to spot, so someone can easily trip over them and get injured
- Unnecessary clutter, such as items and boxes, impedes walkability
- Items that have been left unattended for long periods of time may contain dust or mold, which are hazardous to people suffering from breathing problems
- Dirty and cluttered spaces are a breeding ground for mice, roaches, and other pests which transmit various diseases
A conclusion on the mental health benefits of downsizing
Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have understood that, although it is a challenging and exhausting thing to do, there are a lot of mental health benefits of downsizing. You should consider all of them and weigh your options before deciding to take this critical step. Lastly, consider that, apart from being emotionally challenging, downsizing is by no means a physically easy job. For this reason, another question is whether you need to hire a professional to help you during this time.