downsizing in retirement

As spring arrives in Arizona, plants and trees cast off dust, pollen and dead foliage, clearing the path for fresh growth. Birds molt, replacing old feathers with vibrant, new plumage. Desert creatures adjust to rising temps by shedding fur, while insects and reptiles shed their exoskeletons and skins as they mature and grow.

Amid this seasonal shedding, Beatitudes Campus resident Phebe Packer experienced her own transformation. The 78-year-old traded her 1,600-square-foot home with a garage for a 1,110-square-foot entrance fee senior apartment in Central Park West.

“I had too much stuff and came to a point in my life where I wanted to shed and move to a smaller place,” she said. “I wanted to be prepared for the years when I have less mobility and make decisions now instead of having decisions forced upon me after I moved.”

For many older adults, who spent decades caring for and living in homes filled with memories and possessions, the idea of living in an apartment can be both daunting and liberating. Phebe’s journey sheds light on apartment living pros and cons and how having less stuff makes room for more retirement freedom and enriching experiences.

When considering rightsizing vs downsizing, Phebe opted for both. She adjusted her space and possessions to better align with current needs, while also reducing the amount and size of stuff she owned.

Clearing the Clutter With Senior Apartment Living

The process of downsizing from a spacious home to rightsizing to a senior apartment wasn’t without challenges. Before moving to Beatitudes, Phebe spent about six months sorting through decades of accumulated possessions.

“My place was packed with stuff. I collected old books and had a lot of family heirlooms, so it was interesting to get in touch with family and see what they wanted,” she recalled. Through the process, Phebe pared down her possessions and found joy in passing on items to appreciative loved ones.

A strategy she recommends is packing items, organizing belongings into categories and storing them in the garage. “By doing that, I was less attached to the stuff because I didn’t see it all of the time and weaned myself off,” she said. With the support of her adult children and a systematic approach to decluttering, Phebe streamlined her possessions and made her move much smoother.

More Freedom, Less Stuff: Apartment Living for Seniors

When considering the pros and cons of apartment living, Phebe wondered if the loss of square footage would feel like a step back. It turns out that rightsizing to an entrance fee apartment at Beatitudes was the best choice.

“My independent living senior apartment is large, with two bedrooms, a den and a balcony,” she said. “It doesn’t feel anywhere near the size of my house, but I don’t miss all my extra stuff and don’t regret my decision whatsoever.”

Phebe was proud to accomplish her downsizing goal and experience the freedom of letting go. “You don’t really know what life is going to be like on campus and what you’re going to need and want to have,” she said. “Just about everybody realizes they still brought too much stuff and goes through a second phase of downsizing when they move here.”

After living in an apartment for the last year, Phebe embraces her new life alongside her toy poodle, Folly. “I had my eyes set on Beatitudes all along because of its reputation for being such a lively community with lots of people involved in multiple activities.”

When she first moved to Phoenix in the 1970s, Phebe lived in the central part of the city so Beatitudes’ size and location also appealed to her. “It’s sort of like coming full circle all these years later,” she said. “I’m shedding more things all the time and minimizing what I need. It’s really a wonderful place, and I’m enjoying more experiences with less stuff.”

Step Into Spring With a Lightened Load and Brighter Future

Phebe’s story offers insight into what it means to relocate to an independent living senior apartment and how it opens up new opportunities for simplicity, revealing the value of living life over owning possessions.

While Phebe was fortunate to have family nearby to assist, other older adults without a support network may feel overwhelmed by weighing pros and cons of living in an apartment after living for years in a large home. Don’t stress about rightsizing to a senior apartment: Beatitudes Campus is by your side to help you navigate the transition.

We have several resource partners to lighten your load and support your moving and downsizing needs, including Simple Setups and S4 Real Estate Group. Additionally, our Move-in Coordinator can provide a comprehensive list of preferred vendors to ensure your move unfolds effortlessly.

Once you say goodbye to what no longer serves you, you’ll be ready to say hello to an independent living senior apartment that’s the perfect fit. What are senior apartments like on our vibrant campus? Think fun, security and plenty of residence choices in a neighborhood abloom with enriching experiences. Spring bonus: We’re upgrading our Plaza North and Plaza South rental apartments to help residents live even more boldly and brightly.

If you’re ready to start rightsizing your home and experiencing all the pros of living in an apartment, check out the entrance fee and rental residence options at Beatitudes Campus.

Featured Image: Lucigerma / Shutterstock