Deciding to downsize from your current home, moving into a Smaller Home/Condo, Apartment, Retirement Village or Long Term Care (LTC) Facility is a very hard decision to make. Perhaps there are financial reasons, health reasons or family reasons… none of these make the decision any easier to make. What I can suggest is that if you are able to be pro-active and make this decision with the love and support of family and friends prior to ‘having’ to make a quick decision, I think you will have an easier time saying goodbye to your home.
Some things to consider of course include:
How close will your family members be to your new location?
What are the financial implications, both short and long term?
What household items will I keep/donate/give away/sell?
How big a space will I realistically need?
Do I have access to public transportation should I need it?
I now speak of downsizing from a personal; “I have just done this” perspective. While looking at moving to a downtown apartment condo was often part of our conversation, I really didn’t think it would happen so quickly. Being the organized person my wife Kimberly is, we started just with some research. We met with an agent and saw a couple of places, found out which downtown buildings to avoid and why. (Invaluable information) He had another building to show us one Sunday afternoon and that has changed our lives. While Kimberly knew upon entering it took me a while to see that personally and financially this place made sense. The market was set to make our current place easy to sell, however I wasn’t prepared for the downsizing necessary to fit our 1400 sq. ft. belongings into 800 sq. ft.
Once you have made the decision, how do you say ‘goodbye’ to your home and all that it has meant to you? For me I am not ashamed to say, that involved a meltdown and tears. The home we lived in for the past 15 years was a sanctuary. We had just finished renovating it to our tastes, and it was summer, the season I enjoyed sitting out on the deck and relaxing. Then we got practical. There were many things we needed to donate, sell or keep, and of course there was finding out how to say goodbye to all the memories. I went room to room, sat quietly and filled my heart with the memories. I wrote a list of memories while enjoying an evening with fireflies, the stars and of course a glass of wine. I also took pictures/scanned those items that had sentimental value that I knew I didn’t have room for. My family has many of these items and I can visit them any time I want. Goodwill also benefited from my abundance of clothing and other items. I knew that the memories of my home remains in my heart.
Moving day came quickly enough. Thank you to “Two Small Guys With Big Hearts” moving company, who were amazing! I’ll admit the next few days were the most overwhelming to me. I knew this move was the right thing, but how were we ever going to fit what we brought into this small space? Yes there were things that we found out, didn’t make the cut and more were donated. But with Kimberly’s creative organizational skills we have a home for everything now and still some space to spare. Already after a month it feels like home.
As I write this blog, its closing day on our former home. Sadness has left my heart as I have found a new place to create memories and those who are most important to me share it with me: Kimberly and our 2 cats Kacey and Gizmo.
Once you move into your new house, you can make it home. Try to look at it as a new adventure if you are able. No or less grass to mow, no snow shoveling, new neighbours, less dusting and hopefully a sense of more security and comfort, a place to create new memories in your new home.
While everyone has to make a decision like this in their own time, while working in LTC I have seen many people who had a major health issue and never saw the inside of their home again. Being proactive may not prevent this, but it can give you a safe, secure place to call home for many more healthy and productive years.