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  • Writer's pictureRosetta Metz

Practical Downsizing Advice for Your Post-Retirement Move to Chicago

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Downsizing is a wonderful way to refocus your life in retirement. Besides reducing your home maintenance and cleaning chores, downsizing will force you to get rid of clutter, which will make your home environment more calming and comfortable. But moving into a smaller home can be a very stressful process, no matter how prepared you are. If you’re considering a downsizing move to Chicago, check out the following tips to make the process as easy as possible.

Plan for the Future

As you search for the perfect home for your golden years, try to plan for the future. Certain accessibility modificationscan help you maintain your quality of life if you face any kind of disability or impairment down the road. If you plan to age-in-place, look for a home that will support your changing needs or be ready to make your own modifications. Include the costs of these modifications in your home buying budget—they aren’t cheap!

It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the care services available in your new area. Navigating healthcare in a new city or state can be complicated!

Visit Before Moving

Chicago is a great place to live during retirement. The city is home to several vibrant neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and activities to enjoy. If you’re moving to Chicago from out of town, consider visiting the area a few times before buying a home here.

Begin Decluttering

Before you move into a smaller home, you will have to do some decluttering. Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of can be an emotional process, so start long before you plan to move and go slow. Becoming Minimalist recommends starting with the easy stuff first—like the laundry room—before moving onto sentimental items that can take more time and energy to declutter. Have a disposal plan in place so it’s as simple as possible to get rid of stuff you no longer want. In Chicago, you can donate your stuff to various charitable organizations, such as Chicago Goodwill.

Prepare for the Big Move

Preparing for your move well in advance will help alleviate stress and ensure the moving process goes smoothly. Create a moving checklist so you don’t forget about any essential moving tasks, like transferring your utilities or updating your address with the post office.

It’s a good idea to book your moving company at least two months before your moving date, especially if you’re moving during the summer. But first do your due diligence and research reputable movers in your area. Updater suggests that “knowing the right questions to ask moving companies before committing to one is the best way to avoid surprises on moving day.” Some questions include: How many years have you been in business? Do you have references? What documentation will I receive before moving day? Also be sure that the company you choose is licensed, bonded and insured.

Pack up all of your stuff in labeled boxes (you can buy moving boxes at Lowe’s for $1.44 each), and remember to keep a separate overnight bag for that first day in your new home. You may also want to learn about Chicago before moving so you know what to expect as you get settled in.

Planning to spend your golden years in a small Chicago home is a wonderful decision. You’ll never run out of restaurants to try, events to attend, and neighborhoods to explore. Plan your move and start decluttering today to keep everything under control as you navigate the downsizing process and settle into your new home.


Kent Elliot

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