Downsizing for Retirement Living:
How to work out which items of furniture will fit in your new home.

When downsizing for retirement living into a smaller home, it’s important to determine which ‘essential’ items of furniture and whiteware you need to move, their measurements and how you plan to position them.  Like any other property move, its helpful to have an idea of the floor plan with the space dimensions, so that you can work out in advance how to fit items into your new home with ease of access and functionality in mind.

I have recently been reminded of how difficult it can be for many people to visualise the amount and size of furniture.  Having a plan makes decision making more straight forward and highlights the items you may need to replace because they won’t fit into the available spaces.

Items commonly needing downsizing for retirement living:
Bedheads, if they are bulky or go with a bed that won’t fit
Dining room suites/tables
Dressing tables
Large china cabinets and dressers
Large TV cabinets
Lounge suites
Washing machines

Visit & view

I work closely with my clients and as part of the process we either visit the new/potential property or ask the village to provide floor plans.  Almost all villages can send you a floor plan of some description, and many have been happy to arrange for us to see either a furnished villa/apartment or have asked resident’s who have very kindly let us see their lovely homes.  Seeing how a space can be furnished is hugely helpful in better understanding what will fit.
Retirement village website photo galleries are also a good place to see the style and volume of furnishings of their rooms and properties.  Check on storage space, cupboards, wardrobe, and fridge cavity size.  Is there a garden shed, lock up or garage for storage?

Create your own floorplan

I often make a floor plan specific to my client’s key items.  We use this to discuss what will fit, or if there is a need to replace items with smaller, more space economical options.  The most important thing is to plan to create a comfortable space in which you can easily move around without trip hazards or risk of knocking yourself, so that you can enjoy your new home for as long as possible.

Retirement apartment example floor plan

Retirement Villages can usually provide you with an indicative floor plan – here’s an example showing how furniture could fit in.

I hope you find this information helpful when planning or downsizing for your move into retirement living.
If you need assistance downsizing, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 021 227 3345.
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