7 Reasons to Consider Downsizing
Bigger isn't always better. Sometimes, with a bigger home, we find ways to fill it with things that we don't necessarily want or need any longer, and it can be more hassle than it's worth. There are plenty of reasons that downsizing your home – and everything in it – can be beneficial as you age. You may be holding on to your home for sentimental reasons, but as you consider aging in place, you may find that downsizing saves you time and money so you can continue making new memories on your own.
Here are seven reasons why you should consider downsizing:
- Lower cost of living.
You'll be saving on utilities with a smaller home to heat and cool. And in many cases you can save money on your taxes and insurance with a smaller home, depending on where you decide to relocate.
- Free up equity in your current home.
If you've been in your current home for many years, you may be able to access the equity you have built up over the years, which you can possibly save, invest, or use to pay off some bills in retirement. For more information about the pros and cons, click here to read this report about downsizing from U.S. News & World Report.
- Less cleaning.
Need we say more? Those rooms that you barely use still need regular cleaning. Save your energy and do something fun with that time instead! In addition, you'll be rereduce the chance of having a debilitating fall in the home by not having to clean as much (especially true if you're already using a power chair).
- Easier mobility.
Your needs change as you grow older, and if you've been in your home for a while then it may not be as accessible as it could be. Multiple levels, a basement, an entrance with many stairs and other aspects can make it difficult to move around your home if you have limited mobility. Downsize into a home with a single-level floor plan and other changes can help you remain aging in place and aid in fall prevention.
- Make some extra money.
One person's trash is another person's treasure, right? You can benefit from downsizing your stuff when you downsize your home. Have a garage sale, sell items on Facebook swap sites or Craigslist, and even list nice things (antiques and collectables) on eBay. Don't want to sell? Donate to a reputable charitable organization (and don't forget about the tax write-off!).
- Less maintenance.
When keeping up the spacious yard becomes more cumbersome than enjoyable, it's time to find a smaller green space. It can be difficult to keep up with your home's needs as you age, including exterior needs such as mowing the lawn and weeding the garden, as well as interior needs such as having a slew of light bulbs to change.
- Fewer obstacles for your power wheelchair to maneuver around.
When you downsize, it's easier to get rid of all the clutter and unnecessary “stuff” – because when you are using a power wheelchair in your home, you want to have the space as open as possible. And yes, your Hoveround® power wheelchair is Round for a Reason® and is specially designed to maneuver around tight corners and small spaces.
Tips to Downsizing
If you haven't worn it in the past year – or the last season that was appropriate for that item – get rid of it. Unless it's a classic clothing item suitable to wear to a wedding or other formal event that you may not have worn in the last 12 months, you don't need it taking up space.
View potential new homes from the future: Envision yourself living there in 10 or 20 years and how it will help you remain aging in place. Are there many entrance stairs? Is it a first-floor condo or apartment unit? Whether you already have a power wheelchair or could potentially be using one in the next decade or so, you'll want to make sure that your power wheelchair can help you retain your mobility with ease.
Enlist family and friends to help get rid of the clutter. Purchase some large tote bins and make four piles: Keep, throw away, sell, and donate. That way, you can easily organize your things and take them away as soon as you're ready. And when you've gotten rid of all those items, you can save the bins to start again – and toss items in there as you come across them, so they aren't taking up useful space.
Whether you decide to downsize or stay in your existing home, a Hoveround can help increase your mobility, maintain your independence and help you age in place. If are considering a Hoveround power chair, watch our DVD or call us today at (800) 542-7236 to speak with one of our Mobility Specialists and see if we can help you regain your mobility!