Rightsizing into Retirement Living
The very idea of downsizing from a single-family house to an apartment can send some people into a frenzy. Between choosing furniture, clothing, keepsakes, documents, collectables, and more, it can seem like an overwhelming task.
But, there’s no need to fear! The process can be broken down into manageable bite-sized bits. Even those with the fullest of houses (or farms!) can complete the task at hand, and instead of downsizing, you’ll be ‘rightsizing’ into your new retirement lifestyle.
Rightsizing refers to a positive downsizing experience that puts the focus on what you will gain in the process, such as more time to pursue your interests, hobbies, and passions. Instead of spending your time managing and maintaining a house, you’ll be free to spend your time traveling, reading, painting, hiking, crafting, socializing, dining, volunteering, and doing whatever it is you enjoy doing most.
“I had a 35 acre farm with a barn, my house, and two apartments,” says Jerry Heinicke, a Pennswood resident. He leased his land to farmers, but spent his time plowing snow, mowing lawns and tending to the swimming pool in the summer. Now, instead of working on his farm, he enjoys spending his time and energy on things he truly enjoys, like cooking with his son.
“I used to do all of the work on my farm myself,” says Jerry. “Now at Pennswood someone comes with fresh sheets and towels every week.”
Jerry started his rightsizing process by sorting through items that were hidden in drawers and closets first. Then he went room to room, deciding what to take with him. He created three categories of items: keep, auction, and donate or trash.
He had originally planned to bring his John Deere along with him to Pennswood Village so he could continue mowing and plowing as usual business, but decided to auction it when he learned that a full team of landscaping and maintenance staff does the hard work for him.
Jerry hired the help of a senior move manager company to assist him in moving to his new apartment home at Pennswood. His advice for rightsizing is this: “Just like anything else in life, if it’s outside your field of knowledge, get professional help.” Don’t hesitate to hire professionals who are experts in floor planning, moving, packing, unpacking, and downsizing if you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own.
Anna Ruth Hynson, another Pennswood resident has a passion for antiques. Before moving to Pennswood Village, she and a few friends went into business buying, refinishing, and selling antiques. They’d regularly host sales in her friend’s basement that they had transformed into an antique showroom.
“It’s a fun hobby to make money to buy more antiques!” says Anna Ruth.
But, when it came time to rightsizing into her new apartment home at Pennswood, she had to determine what to do with all her leftover antiques that she had collected for herself.
She started her rightsizing process a few months before her move, and began with a floor plan of her new apartment home in order to determine which pieces would fit comfortably in the new space. Like Jerry, Anna Ruth also hired the help of a senior move manager to assist her in planning her move, and to do the heavy lifting.
The rest of Anna Ruth’s antique pieces were taken to her shore house, given to her children, and saved in storage for her grandchildren who will soon need to furnish their own living spaces. “Thankfully my children are also interested in antiques.”
Anna Ruth feels satisfied in having her home filled with beautiful antiques, and takes great pride in her collection, but says that “you won’t notice the nice things if you have too much.”
Without the work of maintaining a house, Anne Ruth can spend more of her time hunting for more treasures!
For more information on rightsizing tips, contact Pennswood Village