Making Room For You Since 1973

Mature couple hula-hooping on the beach.

7 Tips to Embrace the Snowbird Lifestyle

October 19, 2021 | Lifestyle

If you’re ready to embrace the snowbird lifestyle, we’ve got some helpful ways to prepare your personal belongings before you fly the coop. Snowbirds migrate to warmer climates each year, usually between November and January, to escape the winter weather, with many coming from northern and midwestern states like Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan. 

Health issues motivate some seniors, while others want to continue living active outdoor lifestyles in warmer climates. However, the term “snowbird” isn’t just for seniors anymore. With so many people working remotely due to the pandemic, people in their late twenties and thirties are becoming snowbirds. In other words, people of all ages are looking for ways to take advantage of the snowbird lifestyle. 

So whether you’re 26, 86, or somewhere in between, keep your sense of purpose and motivation alive with these tips on how to embrace the snowbird lifestyle. 

Declutter Your Belongings

Here at Metro, we understand the importance of decluttering and downsizing. Whether you’re trying out minimalism or learning how to be a frugal snowbird, decluttering your belongings will lighten your mental load so you can avoid some of the mistakes first-time snowbirds make

There are many ways to approach decluttering, and a quick Google search will help you find an approach that works for you. For some, the 30-day minimalist challenge game is a fun way to share the process with a friend or family member. The rules are simple: Each person gets rid of one thing on the first day of the month. Two items on the second. Three things on the third. And so forth. 

Simplify Your Wardrobe

Creating a capsule wardrobe is a trendy and fun way to declutter overstuffed and outdated closets. But, what is a capsule wardrobe? Capsule wardrobes are a set of only the clothing and accessories you reach for all the time, minimizing the anxiety of having nothing to wear. Capsule wardrobes are very minimal and meant to be mixed and matched. They also come in handy in specific situations like traveling and storing seasonal winter clothes, which is what the snowbird lifestyle is all about.

Start by taking everything out of your closet and donating clothes that no longer fit, that you don’t wear anymore, or that won’t reflect your new snowbird lifestyle. The recommendation for capsule or minimalist wardrobes is somewhere around 40 pieces (including shoes and bags!). 

You’ll keep a combination of items you already own and love to wear and purchase new, quality items you can shop for based on where you’ll be traveling as a new snowbird.

Plan for Your Pets

Embracing the snowbird lifestyle is certainly not without its challenges, especially if you have more than one pet. Some pets adjust to life transitions easily, but others may struggle with change. Knowing your pet(s) will help ease pet stress during a move and make it easier for your furry friends to adapt to their new home.

Besides keeping vaccine and medical records close at hand, you’ll need to coordinate and manage visits to your local veterinary in two different states. Additionally, dogs or cats may limit the selection of places you can rent. But airline travel may be the most challenging and expensive item in regards to your pets. 

If you’re flying to your snowbird destination every year, what will Fido do on the plane? All of these are essential items to research before you go. Keep in mind, it may be less hassle for everyone to rent an RV to drive to your snowbird destination. 

RV travel allows you to go at your own pace. You’ll have opportunities to visit historical landmarks and national parks on your way towards warmer weather. So whether you’re traveling by car, camper van, or RV, you can stop for plenty of potty breaks along the way. 

Maintain Your Primary Home

If you plan to take up a second residence in a snowbird state like Florida, Texas, or Arizona, you’ll have to figure out how to maintain your primary residence over the winter months. And unfortunately, winter can be tough on homes. 

Winter storms can lead to ice dams that leak into your walls, or pipes can burst, dumping hundreds and hundreds of gallons of water into your living spaces. Winterizing your home is the first step, but you’ll need someone to check on it regularly while you’re gone. 

Homes do best when someone is living in them. Home swapping is growing in popularity, but there isn’t a high demand for people who want to leave their ideal snowbird abode to live in a winter wonderland.

As a result, more snowbirds rent out their homes for part of the year, either furnished or unfurnished. Either way, these snowbirds put all or a portion of their most valuable possessions in a temporary storage unit

This strategy will also keep your home in working order during winter and provide some rental income during retirement. 

Explore Cheap Hobbies

Mature woman smiling while repotting a plant.

If you’re retiring, one of the things to look forward to most is having more time to explore favorite and new pastimes. Cheap hobbies are great because they won’t burden you with extra costs and tend to be simple and easy to stick with as we age.  

Photography can be as easy as using your smartphone or dusting off an old camera. Reading may seem obvious, but how about joining an online book club to add a social component. If you haven’t already invested in a tablet or e-reader, you might consider doing so. These handy digital devices can hold the equivalent of up to 6,000 pounds of books on one device!

Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies people appreciate during retirement. Snowbirds can find ways to garden, whether traveling in an RV or living in a second home part of the year. Whether you’re growing a few herbs in the window or a vegetable patch in the yard, there’s a pleasing sense of satisfaction that comes with watching plants thrive.

According to the National Institute on Aging, finding positive hobbies that support a healthy lifestyle provides numerous benefits, such as lowering your risk of getting dementia, creating a happier mood, and increased optimism.

RV Snowbird Lifestyle

If adventure is your middle name, or you simply want to see more of the country, then the RV Snowbird lifestyle is a great option to check out. Yes, RVs are expensive “toys,” but if you pick up a used RV and do the math, having a home on wheels can be an economical way to try out and even embrace the snowbird lifestyle.

One of the most significant benefits of living the RV snowbird lifestyle is visiting so many different places. Having a home on wheels saves on rent while you explore the sunnier side of the country during the winter months. 

Before making a long-term commitment (like buying a home), check with your tax advisor and insurance provider to find out what the best financial scenario looks like for your situation. 

Try Self Storage with Metro

As you begin to experiment with becoming a snowbird, you may want to take advantage of secure car storage while you’re away. We recommend choosing self storage near your primary city of residence if you’re traveling out of state. 

A secure, well-maintained storage facility is designed to keep your vehicles and household belongings safe and free from damage.  Moreover, month-to-month leases with Metro Self Storage offer flexibility and easy online bill pay to work with your snowbird lifestyle. 

So regardless of how you decide to embrace your snowbird lifestyle, remember that retirement or the golden years are the time to focus on living a stress-free, relaxed, and healthy lifestyle.