There seems to be a universal response to the negative naming of the difficult process: Downsizing. However, I remembered with some friendly prodding that Barry Lebow, Founder of The Accredited Senior Agent Designation refers to it as “Rightsizing”, a term defined as “to undergo a reduction to an optimal size”. I like referring to it as it turns a negative into a positive, so that works for me….Barry’s web site at http://www.thesenioragent.com/ has some great resources for seniors who are rightsizing but remember that people rightsize for all sorts of reasons.
Here are some of my further thoughts for today’s post: I am a great fan of writing up the plusses and minuses of any major decision. Sit down with your partner and family and decide what rightsizing will mean to you and your lifestyle. With older readers, those with health issues or caregivers, much of the discussion should be based on safety issues. The ruling decision should be based on “Is this the safest place for me to live?”.
When it comes to what should stay and what should go, call a professional…and listen to them. The Real Estate business is full of third parties we use called “Stagers” . They pride themselves on showing our sellers how to make their homes look spacious, when they may not be and have a very good unbiased eye. Owners, Family and friends may have vested interest in pieces or history around them and may be tied to “Stuff”. My colleague, D’arcy Burkholder of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada has a great perspective and points out “these are just possessions…ask yourself……Do you own them or do they own you?”.
I also hear people say that they are “saving these possions for their children”. As I child I heard that excuse used many times…strange that I was never asked whether I wanted those possessions or not. As my mom aged and passed those possessions on to me and my brother they occupied a large armour in my living room and his basement….they seldom got used, and when asked where they were, it became easier to say that they were in the dishwasher….course that never worked with chairs, a sofa or the dining table. The dishes were not dishwasher proof so I got a further talking to…with a gracious helping of guilt.
Ask your children what they want and give it to them now…without an editorial or history…especially if they tell you they cannot use it. Remember that you went through the process at their age, but also remember that this generation is known for not being as loyal as we were and seldom care how long you have had it around. With the recent generation we make a mistake branding ourselves with our History rather than our Services or recent successes. How long something has been around is not as important to them as its utility today.
- Hire a professional Stager and play “does it stay or does it go?” at home.
- Have new floor plans done and use your Stager to stage your existing place for sale making recommendations on the new space at the same time.
- Get sticky notes to place on what is to go… let your family or friends walk through the “to-go” group while you go for a short walk…if they want something in the “to go” group, it must go today. If it does not disappear, move it out as soon as you can but …don’t move it into a storage locker. Storage Lockers are often a cop-out!
At all times keep in mind where you are moving to and what the pluses of that new space are going to be. Get excited and get packing! Speaking of packing…at all times hide all packing boxes. There is little as depressing as half-empty or half-filled moving boxes. Always make your home a Moving Box FREE Zone!
Feel free to add your comments and suggestions below or read the earlier post at: