If you’re dreaming of downsizing, world events may have thrown a wrench into your plans. The
COVID-19 social distancing guidelines complicated selling and buying a home, moving into
retirement communities, and even finding ways to easily get rid of excess stuff. Fortunately,
there are still options available, and ways you can make your retirement dreams come true.
Here is a look at a few of the solutions you can use to overcome the obstacles COVID-19 has
placed in your path:
Finding Your Space
Your first move should be figuring out where you want to be. There are several options in front
of you, from moving into a new home to joining a retirement community, and even turning to
assisted living. Which is right for you depends on several factors.
If you’re in great health, but want a new space that will work with you for years to come, buying
a home or condo may be the best fit. This Old House recommends focusing on properties with
minimal stairs, easy-to-reach cabinetry, and other features that will come in handy if you ever do
struggle with mobility.
Purchasing property during social distancing is a little complicated, so do your research and talk
to your agent about what to expect in your market. Don’t be afraid to stand up for your own
safety when it comes to viewings, inspections, and other potential in-person steps along the
If you want a little extra support built into your living space, consider an independent living
community or assisted living facility. These are very different options for seniors, and what’s
right for you will depend on what, exactly you’re looking for. An independent living community is
a great call for the senior who wants amenities, shared spaces, and a built-in social network of
Assisted living is a good choice for anyone who needs extra help with daily tasks such as
bathing, getting dressed, or managing medications. Many seniors worry that an assisted living
facility will rob them of their independence, but the opposite is often true. As U.S.News points
out, having help with the tasks that hold you back gives you the chance to do the things you
actually want to do.
Downsizing and Getting Rid of Excess Junk
Most of us have a ton of accumulated stuff that we don’t actually need to take with us into this
next stage. Set aside a regular, specific time, such as an hour each day, to go through your
storage and sort things into keep, donate, and toss piles. Be honest with yourself, and resist the
urge to hold on to a kitchen appliance you haven’t touched in years “just in case.”
Items to throw away can probably mostly just go in your weekly trash pick up. If you need a
large item picked up, however, reach out to your garbage disposal service and see if they have
options. You may need to schedule a specific pick-up time, or even hire a private company to
take the item to the dump for you.
Donations may be complicated right now, as many places you’d typically donate too aren’t
accepting items right now. Reach out to different organizations in your area and see if there are
any that are still running as normal. If so, schedule a donation pick up or drop off with them, and
make sure to follow safe social distancing throughout the process.
Moving while adhering to social distancing guidelines is complicated, but possible. Start by
packing your things as early as possible, as you can’t invite people over to help you get things
ready. Next, hire a mover to get the items from point A to B. Ask them what they’re practices are
to keep you and the workers safe, and remember that your price for this service can vary based
on many factors, from the weight of your items, to the distance you’re moving, and even what
day of the week you move. Picking a low-traffic time, such as the middle of a weekday, can help
increase safety for everyone involved.
It’s a complicated time to downsize, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad time. Finding the
perfect place to live your golden years might take a little longer than it normally would, but it will
be well worth the wait. Soon you’ll be living the retirement of your dreams!
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