Retiring 1.01: Top Tips On Downsizing

Why is it that when it comes to retiring, it's often described as a "new chapter in life", with a magic button that makes everything fall into place?

The reality is that the thought of finding and then moving into a retirement village can be overwhelming.

Retirement Living General Manager Operations, Kate Mathewson said Stockland recognised the process of moving into a village could seem daunting at first, which is why it wanted to make life easier for its customers.

"Moving into a retirement village is an exciting time but we know it's also a challenge for those who are downsizing, so we have brought in experts to help out," Ms Mathewson said. "We want to make these the happiest and least stressful years of someone's life."

Stockland moving specialist Lorraine Cox whose company Downsizing with Ease has helped people move for over 16 years says the following tips will help ease any stress:

1. Take a deep breath!

2. Choose your removalist sooner rather than later, and pick a company you feel comfortable with, and can talk to.

3. Special items - if you have special pieces of china or personal items you have "put away" to one day give to children or grandchildren, give it to them now. Enjoy their enjoyment in receiving something special from you.

4. Always remember " downsizing your home will not downsize your memories". Do not over clutter your new home.

5. Sell your unwanted furniture and household items, but be realistic when it comes to price. Be ready to accept what you get, otherwise give it away to family, friends or to your favourite charity.

6. Work out your space and be ruthless because you don't want to pay removalists to take things only to have to call them back and pay them a second time to remove those items that don't fit. Also, keep the second bedroom clutter free so you can have friends or those precious grandchildren come to stay.

7. Garage Sales - think again! After 16 years of helping people move, Lorraine has only ever heard of a handful of people saying their garage sale was "successful". They are a lot of hard work without a big return.

8. Go on a holiday - if it's within your budget. Work out what you are taking and where you want it to go in the new home and "go away" for a few days. The stress of watching precious items being packed up and moved can sometimes prove too much.

"Retirement should be about securing a lifestyle in an enjoyable place to live, with services and support that make life stimulating and satisfying, Ms Mathewson said.

"Often people really like the idea of a new home, but when they return to their family home and realise the enormity of moving, it all gets too much. This is where we can help with our professional downsizers and trustworthy suppliers".

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