When an individual or a couple decide to retire, they might also decide to downsize their home. This can mean less time taking care of the home so you have more time to spend on hobbies and other pursuits, and less cost than maintaining a large home that's no longer needed now that the children have moved out. While it may be enticing to think about downsizing, it can also be challenging to consider all the things you have accumulated over the years. Note a few ways you can work around this so you can move into that townhouse, condo, or retirement community more readily.

Don't be so quick to think about keeping things for your kids

You may want to keep many of your children's mementos and keepsakes from their childhood because you think they want them around, but consider why your kids haven't taken those things to their own home. If they're not interested in keeping their yearbooks, old trophies, the outfit they wore to a school dance, and the like, why are you keeping them? Consider hanging on to just a few things that are easily stored and getting rid of everything else; this can mean pictures of that school dance and not the outfit they wore, or pictures from their sporting events and not all those trophies themselves. Once you decide on keeping only pictures or a few simple things and not absolutely everything from their childhood, you may open up quite a bit of space in your home.

Honestly consider how you'll spend your time, moving forward

If you're looking to move into a retirement apartment or condo, why do you need all your lawn care equipment? If you have health concerns that are limiting your mobility, why do you need all those sporting goods that you cannot use? Rather than thinking about how these things have served you in your past years, think about how they will, or will not, be used in your future plans, and get rid of items you honestly know you'll never need again.

Get a self-storage unit 

If you still have items that you don't want to part with even into your retirement, get a self-storage unit. This will allow you to keep sporting goods, seasonal clothes, and any other keepsakes that you don't need every single day, as well as holiday items, extra sets of dishes, and other things that won't fit into a downsized home. These things can be close at hand while in the storage unit but out from underfoot, opening up your home and allowing you to move into the retirement complex of your choice.