Taking The Stress Out of Downsizing

Taking The Stress Out of Downsizing

Jun 20, 2015

There are a variety of reasons to downsize. We might want a smaller home because we feel our house is too large to maintain. Or the kids have all moved out and wehave become empty nesters.

Or we need to move into an assisted living facility. Moving out of the home we have lived in for many years is a big, big step.

Downsizing is very demanding physically, mentally and emotionally. We have to accept that the new home we will be moving into is smaller and, therefore, it is impossible to bring everything we've accumulated over the years with us.The most challenging aspect of the move is deciding what to do with all of our stuff.

Here are some helpful tips to make downsizing less stressful and easier to manage.

1. Know the Layout of the New Home

It is good to find out the layout, with measurements, for the new place in advance so you know how much space you will have. This will help you decide on what will fit and what things you can bring.

2. Make a“To Do” List

In order to stay organized and on task, it is important to keep a list so you remember everything.

3. Tackle One Room at a Time

When packing, start with rooms that are used the least, as they will likely house items with less emotional attachments (i.e. the attic, garage, bathroom, etc.). Also, when you get to the most used rooms focus on the most used items.

4. Take pictures

It is a good idea to take pictures of important itemsthat will help with the organizing in the new home. For, example, picture arrangements on a wall or how certain items are stored in cabinets.

5. Determine the things to:

  • Keep
  • Give to family and friends
  • Sell/Donate
  • Throw Away

Do not make a “Maybe” pile! This leads to more deciding and more time on the process. Try to frame the decisions as “yes or no.”

6. Selling Things

There are several ways for you to sell items yourself. Put them on eBay, Craigslist or in the local paper. Just be aware this is time consuming and the items may not sell right away. So then what do you do with the item?

7. Donating Things

There are numerous charities that will take donations. Keep in mind they may not accept certain items. Mattresses and cloth-covered furniture are among the belongings that can be difficult to give away. Books can be troublesome as well. Make a list of your local charities and call them to check on pick up dates and unaccepted items – and remember to get a receipt for taxes!

8. Giving Things to Family

This is a great time to offer those “certain items” to family members. No need to wait for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary.

9. Consider an Estate Sale

There are companies that will organize, advertise and run an estate sale from your home. They make their fee off a percentage of the sales receipts. This is a good way to get rid of larger items and make some money. You should hold the sale after the move so only the sellable items are left in the house.

10. Consider Using a Professional

There are companies that specialize in moving seniors. They help make the downsizing a lot easier as they can help in organizing and sorting the possessions of the senior. They can go as far as putting everything back in drawers and cabinets, hang pictures and mirrors, even making the beds.

Bruce Ballatine

Bruce Ballatine, SRES, CSA is a Realtor Associate with Evergreen Realty. CalBRE #001783833. He can be reached at (949) 632-2923 or bruce.evergreen@cox.net

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