How to Downsize for Retirement

Home downsizing is an increasingly popular trend among retirees. Moving into a smaller home, possibly in an entirely new city or state, offers many financial and lifestyle advantages for those saying goodbye to the working world. Here are the top tips for how to downsize for your retirement home.

Develop Clear Goals

Downsizing is when an individual or married couple moves into a smaller home, either just before or soon after retirement. Living in a smaller home offers many different benefits:

  • Reduced utility bills due to smaller home energy needs
  • Reduced property taxes
  • Increased savings, as home sales generate an average profit of $100,178
  • Closer proximity to family, friends, or interests

Forming a clear idea of your retirement goals is the first step in deciding what type of smaller home you want and where you want to live. Careful planning allows you to estimate costs accurately, anticipate potential problems, and otherwise set yourself up for success in retirement.  

Reduce Unwanted Items

Getting rid of unnecessary household items can help reduce clutter and make life feel simpler. If you move into a smaller home, you won’t have room for all of your possessions. Many retirees find this is ultimately a great benefit to downsizing.

Common items that many retirees reduce when downsizing include the following:

Exercise Equipment

If you don’t currently use the exercise equipment you own, consider selling it to save space. Instead, you can find ways to exercise outside of the house, such as taking walks around your new neighborhood. 


A smaller home means less closet space, so you’ll need to get rid of some clothes, either by selling or donating them. Also, your wardrobe might need to change if you’re moving somewhere with a different climate.


You’ll want a precise layout of your new house so you can decide what furniture will fit best. One easy option for selling furniture you no longer need is to include it as part of the sale of your current home.

Consider Non-Traditional Homes

While many people downsize by moving into a smaller house, it’s not your only option. You could live in an RV, boat, senior living center, or apartment. They provide different benefits than a traditional house, such as the increased ability to travel or reduced home maintenance needs. 

Keep in mind some of these options are quite different than what you may be used to. For instance, before deciding to live in an RV full-time, take an extended vacation in one first. You’ll want to do careful research to determine if it’s a lifestyle you’ll find comfortable.  

Hire Long-Distance Movers

If you’re relocating to a new state, don’t attempt to move all your belongings by yourself. You can accidentally damage your possessions. Plus, moving involves strenuous physical labor, which usually isn’t something you want to engage in as a senior.

A professional long-distance mover understands how to protect your possessions during long drives. They can help you move within a state or even across the country. Plus, they can also pack the items, so you don’t have to do any of the work yourself.

Final Thoughts

Downsizing for retirement helps you save money, simplify your lifestyle, and spend more time with your family. If you decide to relocate to a new state, use Colonial Van Lines to help with your move and keep your belongings safe. 

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