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Downsizing Vs. Rightsizing: It’s a matter of perspective.

December 14, 2022

Part of life is the accumulation of stuff. The more we have, the more space we need. After a while, it can be hard to determine which items we need and which we’re just used to having. Downsizing can be a daunting term, especially if you’ve lived in your home for a long time.

What exactly is “rightsizing” and how is it different? Downsizing refers to opting into a smaller residence, with the understanding that some or most one’s furniture and other household items will be gotten rid of.

“Rightsizing” is more than just jargon, it’s a lifestyle choice. Whether you need more space or less space, the question to be asking yourself is whether your space aligns with the way you live. Downsizing has a lot of negative association often because it’s usually done when a person experiences a change of circumstances. Making a conscious decision to unburden yourself to live your best life is what “rightsizing” is all about.

Where to Start?

Marie Kondo became a worldwide phenomenon with her unique approach to organization and decluttering. Her Netflix series “Sparking Joy” asks its audience to closely examine each of their possessions and ask themselves whether it sparks joy. If there’s no spark, it must go. This can be a harsh way to look at items rich in sentimental value, but for things like oversized furniture and seasonal décor, it can be a quick way to separate the wheat from the chaff.

When considering making a move, it’s important to ask yourself what you value in your life and what conveniences a new living space will add to your life. Many retirees agree they feel a sense of freedom after untethering themselves from household clutter and the responsibility of home repairs.

Deborah and Skip Brown recently relocated to Lakeside Waterman Village and have been enjoying the process of creating a new home. Deborah loves to decorate and she’s using this opportunity to freshen up her interiors. They’ve been impressed with the attentiveness of the staff. “I wanted more storage and they do all that stuff. I put in a work order, and they were here the next day!” Deborah said.

“I’m amazed by the amount of space I have. I didn’t think I was going to have enough room for all my stuff, so I didn’t bring the stuff I didn’t need, and I still have plenty of space.” She said.

Changing ideals and the growing popularity of “small” homes offer more opportunities to enjoy the activities you love. More seniors are embracing modern living and retirement communities are a great way to remain independent in the perfect amount of space for you.

The Right Way to Rightsize

There isn’t a one-sized fits all approach to rightsizing your life, but there are plenty of resources to help you along the way. In her 2019 book “Downsize: Living Large in a Small House,” author Sherri Koons helps readers focus on doable ways to simplify living in a smaller setting.

“It scares people to think of moving into a smaller space, but every single person I interviewed who has made the transition says they are so happy they did. Time and time again, people are using the word ‘liberated’ to describe their move to a smaller space, with smaller homes requiring far less time and money to maintain.” Koons explained.

The Right Investment

Owning a large home can be exhausting, but the financial investment makes it worthwhile. However, unless regular updates are made, a house can depreciate over time. Living in a resident-owned retirement community ensures that you never have to clean the gutters or mow the grass again. Maintenance is handled by staff who keep the residences in tip-top shape.  With a retirement community, residents sell their current home and use the proceeds to purchase a more sustainable home in a retirement living community.

At Lakeside Waterman Village residents have access to four types of senior living on one campus: independent living, assisted living, memory support and nursing care. Though most CCRCs offer three main levels of living, residents of tend to pay higher monthly fees and receive less of their entry fee back when they move out.  At Waterman Village, fewer nursing home residents formerly resided in independent living. This helps ensure we can offer a better value than a traditional CCRC.

Smaller Home, Bigger Social Network

Another advantage to seeking smaller living is the built-in social network of a retirement community. It’s proven that socialization improves quality of life and helps us live long fuller lives. Those who age in place tend to experience more feelings of loneliness than those who live communally.

Rightsizing is about more than just square footage. Empty nesters or those who have recently lost a spouse can use it as a chance to freshen up social circles and get involved. Making new friends after a certain age can be tricky, but in a retirement living community, neighbors are eager to become friends.

Deborah described her early interactions with neighbors. “It’s great for new people. People will ask oh, are you new? Come sit at our table. Let me introduce you to more people. It’s very sociable here. People usually wear their name tags so you can talk to them. If you go to the gym, you can call them by name. When you see them in a restaurant, you know them.”

In the rightsized life, a person is fulfilled by quality of life rather than quantity of possessions. As social morays evolve, there’s been a bigger shift than ever toward smaller homes and experiential living. Downsizing doesn’t have to be scary, but instead an opportunity to take stock of your current living arrangement and honestly ask yourself if it sparks joy. If not, it might be time to start thinking about what a rightsized life looks like to you.

To learn more about what a rightsized life at Waterman Village could be like for you, call one of our representatives at 352-383-0051 today.


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