Senior Living March 28, 2022

Top 10 Rightsizing Tips for Seniors

Decluttering and Rightsizing!

Many of us seem to be having the same conversations about simplifying our lives, decluttering our homes and getting rid of “stuff”.  The “stuff” just simply bogs us down.  It is amazing how it all accumulates.  From large homes to more modest homes, we all seem to have one shared experience, Clutter!  We love shows like Marie Kondo’s Tidying up with Marie Kondo on Netflix and magazines like Simplify Magazine, always looking for new ideas and strategies to face the accumulation.

As I explore resources on this topic, I realize that there is a wealth of information out there and lots of tips to begin this process. I think the tips in the SRES article below will help you get a good start. Please feel free to contact me anytime to discuss the process.  I certainly have helped many clients work through the journey of rightsizing!

Top 10 Rightsizing Tips for Seniors

Top 10 Rightsizing Tips for Seniors

1. Start with the easy stuff.

Eliminate anything that’s broken, damaged, or no longer wanted. Then, go to the out-of-the-way spaces like attics, crawlspaces, and garages. Progress in these “easier” parts of your home will help you build momentum and tackle the harder-to-decide areas.

2. Ask yourself,  “If this disappeared tomorrow, would I run out and replace it?”

If you wouldn’t miss it or need to replace it, it’s probably not worth keeping.

3. Don’t be a storage unit for others.

If friends or relatives have left things for you to store, it’s time to ask them to pick up their possessions—or arrange to have them shipped. You may need to be tough and set a firm deadline, after which you will donate the items.

4. Ask for help.

Although you can do much of this work on your own, a family member, a good friend, or even a professional organizer can help make the job more manageable.

5. Decide what’s important.

Pretend you are moving overseas, but you can only take a severely limited number of items because it costs a small fortune to ship them. What items belong on your list? These are the things that matter most to you!

6. Is this something from a lifestyle I no longer have or want?

For example, if you have three cabinets full of plastic containers, but only cook for one or two people, it’s reasonable to eliminate a few plastic sets—and dishes, pots, and pans.

7. Schedule a regular time each week—or several days a week—to work on rightsizing.

Realize that rightsizing is a life-changing marathon, not a sprint. You didn’t accumulate everything overnight, and you won’t sort it all out overnight, either.

8. Value what you keep.

The fewer things you keep, the more you will treasure and enjoy what you have, instead of tucking items away in a closet or stacked among dozens of other things. These are the select, meaningful items worth having in your personal space.

9. Prevent new collections from forming.

Instead of material gifts, ask people to spoil you by sharing time, enjoying new experiences, and helping you indulge in luxuries (spa certificates, imported chocolate, a musical or other theatre production, gift certificates for dinner out, etc.). In other words, ask for special treats that you love and want, but don’t always buy for yourself.

10. Use age to your advantage.

Now is a great time to give items to family members that you eventually want them to have. Take a photo (preferably a digital one) of your recipients holding their treasured gifts and create a scrapbook of “next generation” memories. These images can serve as powerful reminders of your most cherished items moving forward into posterity with the most special people in your life.

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Photo by Julia M Cameron

Additional resources:

New Life Furniture Bank

Everything But The House

For more information please feel free to contact me:
Senior Living December 2, 2021

Help Your Retiring Parents Buy a Home

While there has been much hubbub about the Millennials’ potential to change the housing market, it is retiring baby boomers who are in control right now. If your parents are among the people looking for a new home to enjoy retirement in, you can help them.

Freddie Mac recently found that baby boomers are the dominant demographic in the housing market. While Millennials were expected to be behind the majority of real estate sales this year, it seems baby boomers are giving them a run for their money. The company surveyed 4,900 homeowners born before 1961. These individuals control two-thirds of the home equity in the U.S., and 40 percent of them hope to move at least once more. If your parents are among these market-shaping seniors, then they may to be looking for a new residence. With interest rates as low as they are, the time is right for homebuyers with good credit.

However, the cost of health care and the limits of Social Security and retirement savings may make it more difficult to afford a home. Lending standards are strict, and medical debts and small retirement incomes are difficult to work around. One of the best things people can do for their parents in this financially difficult environment is to offer help with the homebuying process. explained a few of the ways you can help your parents buy a new home:

Purchase it yourself and charge rent
One option is to buy the home yourself and charge your parents rent. This way they don’t have to deal with strict lending standards nor do they have to raid their savings for a sizable down payment. In addition, this is an opportunity for you to invest in a property and gain equity without worrying about your tenant. It is important, though, to set rent prices at levels comparable to nearby properties. Otherwise, the Internal Revenue Service could start poking around.

Buy the home and don’t charge rent
If you’re feeling especially generous and are in need of a second home, you could buy the home for your parents and forgo charging rent. There are tax advantages to buying a home for your mom and dad. If you opt for this arrangement, the government will allow you to deduct the mortgage interest and property taxes on your home. In this case, it would be best to keep the title of the home in your name to avoid a gift tax.

Co-sign the mortgage
The first two options require buying a home, but the third necessitates co-signing a loan instead. Your own credit might be enough to offset the impact of smaller retirement income or other financial problems retirees face. Parents often prefer this option, since it offers them some financial independence relative to the other two choices. In addition, you won’t have to shell out much of your own cash in this arrangement.

Medical expenses and retirement income and savings limitations have created difficult circumstances for some baby boomers who hope to buy a home. Luckily, their children can step in and help by purchasing the properties themselves or co-signing mortgages. This way, baby boomers can move into homes that suit their retirement lifestyles.

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Senior Living November 25, 2021

Tips to help you downsize

You make the call and I am here to sell your home so that you can move to a smaller house close to family. I’ve got the knowledge, tools, and resources necessary to help make your move a smooth one.

When I get to your house to help you with staging, there is an overwhelming amount of items cluttering your home. Just like that, what you thought would be a smooth process has now become a lot more difficult. You start thinking, “Where is all this stuff going to go? This will never fit in a smaller home or condo.”

This scenario is very familiar. This is my job to help my clients with downsizing. I chose this article because it gives useful tips on getting ready to downsize.

I also include some helpful local Cincinnati links at the bottom of the post that are great resources to help you, consign, donate and/or eliminate the “stuff.”

Now your house is cleared out and ready for the market, you are in the best position to sell your home.

Tips to help downsize

Don’t give up yet! Helping downsize and get rid of some bigger items can be a lot easier than you think. Here are some tips to help simplify the process.

Stay on task and on schedule

When you begin to think about downsizing, it’s important to stay on task and adhere to a specific time-line or check list. It’s easy to procrastinate and wait until the last minute to worry about where all that stuff is going to go once moving day comes. However, the longer you put it off, the more stressful things can get.

Plan for the new space

To begin, plan ahead by figuring out how much space will be available in your new home. It is helpful if you have a floorplan available that you can take a look at. An idea of how much space you will have can help narrow down which items will make the move with them.

Use a tagging system to categorize items

From there, work to separate and tag the items that will stay behind into different categories. What items can be donated? What items will be sold? What items can go to children or other family members? Creating a tagged system like this can streamline the downsizing process and will help keep you organized.

While figuring out which items will go where, try to be objective. Many people attach memories to their belongings, making it hard for them to say goodbye. What may look like a piece of junk to some, may have sentimental value to you. Keep what is important and eliminate what you no longer need or use. Sentimental items can be stored in a special container or space if they are too difficult to eliminate.

Help get belongings where they need to go

Once you have finished deciding on where everything will go, it’s time to get everything to its respective place or new owner. You may have family members or friends nearby that will be willing to assist with getting these items where they need to go, but in the case that they do not, you can hire a downsizing professionals or a moving company to take on the burden of transporting everything.

As space clears up in your home, and moving day approaches, you’ll be thankful that you had an SRES® agent like myself to help them navigate through the downsizing process.  I am here every step of the way.

Helpful links in Cincinnati Ohio for downsizing

This article originally appeared on the National Association of REALTORS® website. As a REALTOR® with the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® Designation, I find their blog full of helpful information and you can see more here.  

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I have not verified any of the information contained in those documents that were prepared by other people.