Downsizing is often a viable option for seniors in the Los Angeles area who need to save money or who need to find a smaller and safer home after retirement. However, it’s a big job that can lead to lots of stress and even feelings of depression or anxiety, so it’s important to make sure it’s done the right way.

retired couple holding hands along the beach shore while sunsets

Going through your belongings, decluttering, and packing everything up can be a very emotional process, and deciding what to take to your new home can often be extremely difficult. Not only that, but it can also be hard to give up the life you’ve had for years in one home and start over in another, even if you know it will be the best move for you in the long run.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make the job easier, both emotionally and physically. From garnering support from your friends and family to looking for the best ways to make moving day easier, there are ways you can make downsizing a success.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to get started with your downsizing journey.

aerial shot above Van Nuys area in Los Angeles

1. Prepare

When you begin your search for a new home, it’s always best to start by looking around online to see how much houses are going for in the neighborhoods that interest you. That way, you don’t get hit by “sticker shock” when you officially begin looking for a home.

If you live in the Van Nuys area, you’re likely already aware that real estate prices in your neighborhood trend higher than many other cities in the country.

When considering how much you can spend, be sure to take into account your income, monthly spending, and future property taxes and mortgage payments. You’ll also want to review home prices in your area (Los Angeles home sales average $845K).

Once you have a ballpark figure in mind, seek out an accomplished and dedicated real estate agent who understands the greater Los Angeles market and can help you through the selling and buying process.

Part of preparing for purchasing a home will involve securing a home loan. You have several options, including VA loans if you’re a military veteran. Not only do VA loans have lower interest rates, but eligible home buyers won’t have to worry about making a down payment or paying for mortgage insurance.

If you’re not a veteran, a conventional loan may best suit your needs. These loans offer home buyers flexible rates, and you can avoid having to pay for mortgage insurance with a 20 percent down payment.

Once you’ve found your new Van Nuys home, it’s important to prepare for the move as much as possible by taking measurements and photos of each room. This will help you decide which items you can bring, especially if you have a lot of large pieces of furniture.

Downsizing typically means moving into a much smaller space, and it can be hard to figure out which items to take and which ones to give up. Having measurements on hand will make the process much easier.

senior couple holding glass vases to be safely packed in the boxes

2. Pack Smart

Packing your belongings can be a lengthy and complicated job, so it’s crucial that you find the best ways to keep things safe and easy to find. If you have time, write out a packing list for each box and tape it to the outside.

Items like DVDs and books should be packed vertically to help protect them from damage and to allow you to pack more of them into every box. Also, pick up some sturdy moving boxes to ensure your belongings stay safe during transit. Box City is a great local resource with multiple locations convenient for Van Nuys residents.

storage facility for rent

3. Consider Your Options

Downsizing can mean making some very difficult decisions, particularly when it comes to figuring out what to do with your belongings. Ask a close friend or family member to help you go through certain items if you know the process will be emotional for you, and consider donating those things with sentimental value if you know you won’t have room for them in the new house.

If there are larger pieces that you can’t take but can’t bring yourself to get rid of, consider renting a storage unit with QuikStor Self Storage.

movers carrying a furniture out of their van

4. Think About the Details

The details of a move often involve making preparations that will make your life easier, and when you’re a senior, it’s a good idea to include finding a new doctor who’s closer to your new home, exploring the neighborhood to get familiar with where everything is, and filling out forms at the post office to ensure that your mail gets to the right place.

Create a checklist of tasks that need to be taken care of so you don’t miss anything. You’ll need to hire movers as well, so research moving companies in the Van Nuys area to find a reputable mover to handle your furniture and other belongings.

Downsizing is a wonderful option for Van Nuys residents who need to find a smaller space to spend their retirement years, but it’s a lot to take on if you aren’t prepared, and it can easily become overwhelming. Do a little homework before the moving process begins so you’ll have a good plan in place to see you through.

Guest contributor Andrea Needham created Elders Day to remind everyone that getting older isn’t synonymous with slowing down. Everyone has their own pace, but age shouldn’t be what stops you from fulfilling dreams, goals, and desires.

QuikStor Self Storage | 6615 Valjean Ave Van Nuys, California 91406 United States
QuikStor Self Storage | 6615 Valjean Ave Van Nuys, California 91406 United States

If you’re looking for a storage facility to store your belongings, QuikStor Self Storage has got you covered in this department. Here at QuikStor Self Storage, we offer a wide range of unit selections and top-notch security. To learn more about our self-storage facility, please check out our website at

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