Retired Couple

A Guide to Downsizing for Retirement

There are a lot of things that you will need to consider as you plan your retirement. It can be overwhelming to consider the list of things you’ll need to cross off your to-do list before you can take a much-needed and well-deserved break from the business of a life of work. One of the most important—and often most difficult—decisions you will need to make is if you will move and where you will go when you do.

Is Downsizing Right for You?

A lot of people who move as they retire choose to downsize their homes. In some cases, the benefits of downsizing are what motivate them to move. Of course, it’s not for everybody, so comparing a few pros and cons can be helpful when you’re considering downsizing for retirement.


  • You get to organize and declutter your home
  • You will spend less on maintenance, upkeep, utility bills, and cleaning
  • If your current home is already paid off, you might be able to sell it and buy a new home without taking on another mortgage


  • You might not have enough space for all of your stuff
  • You will have less room to host events, parties, get-togethers, or have people spend the night
  • You might end up renting a home instead of owning one
  • Selling your current home might not be profitable in the current market

Downsizing Your Belongings

If you decide to downsize your home for retirement, you’ll be faced with an often difficult and unsavory task: downsizing all your stuff. As unpleasant as it might be, you’ll be glad you did once you move into your new home and have space to put all of your things without feeling cluttered. Here are a few tips for how to throw things out.

  • For your first run through, it is beneficial to categorize your items into four categories: keep, donate, sell, and toss. A good rule of thumb: If you don’t use it or appreciate it, donate it, sell it, or throw it away (or better—recycle it!).
  • Consider renting a storage unit. Throwing out nostalgic items can be an emotional process. Nobody wants to throw out family photographs, scrapbooks, or other sentimental objects that have a lot of value. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re caught between throwing away meaningful items and not having enough space in your house, a storage unit can give you the best of both worlds for an affordable price.

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