rightsizing begins here

You’ve been thinking about it. Maybe, you’ve even had a conversation with your partner or parent about it. But how do you know it’s really time to be considering “it” more seriously? We are, of course, talking about selling and downsizing your home or that of a loved one.

In fact, there are several signs that indicate it’s time to ratchet up the conversation:

  • Is only half of the home being lived in?
  • Have stairs become a challenge?
  • Has it been years since visiting the basement or attic?
  • Is the house not as clean as it used to be?
  • Is “stuff” just piling up?
  • Is the home too expensive to maintain?

If you’re saying yes to one or more of these questions, the time may be right for downsizing or better said – rightsizing.

So now you’ve tested the temperature on rightsizing. You’re not quite ready to hammer the For Sale sign into the front lawn, but the on ramp is now in sight. What steps can you take to get a bit closer to a more optimal living situation?

First, consider all that stuff that’s been piling up. You can begin by giving away items to family and friends so they may enjoy that cherished picture, knick-knack or furniture as much as you did. Knowing that someone you love will think of you when they see it is what keeps the memory from that item alive.

Next, take a first run at what you no longer want to keep. Should it be donated or trashed? Pick one room as your starting point and after you make some progress, go to another room. Anything, big or small, that is removed is a step in the right direction. If your children will help, that is wonderful but, many times, they live out of town so you’ll need some outside help.

One of the challenges of downsizing/sorting is that we may be unable to give away many of our possessions. Oftentimes, family members simply do not want what mom and dad had: regardless of the quality or value of the items. One option is to try and sell what is left through an estate sale, online auction or even Craig’s list. But seller beware – often the value in the market place is not as high as the value you place on it. Of course, try to get as much money as you can, but keep in mind the goal is not to have to pay to have it removed. Sometimes, the best course of action is to donate whatever you can and know you’re helping another family.

Sorting and de-cluttering is an important part of the downsizing process, but there is still more to accomplish. After you’ve determined where you are going to move, the next step is to decide what you want to take with you. What will you use? What will fit? What must you take to make sure you feel at home in your next place?

Eventually, you’ll come face to face with all the “to do’s” required before, during and after the actual move: from lining up the moving company, packing/unpacking, handling all of the change of address notifications with credit card companies, insurance, utilities, cable company, etc. to cable installation/hook ups, cleaning up the former home and even getting the bed made for your first night in your new home.

Don’t try and tackle everything yourself or at once. Ask for help when you need it. If you can’t coax your children or friends into assisting you in this process, contact a professional. They have processes, systems (some tricks too) as well as many resources to get you ready to move to a more fitting place.

Debbie and David Feldman

Debbie and David Feldman

Debbie and David Feldman are the owners of Home Again Transitions, and handle all aspects of moving and the entire To Do List. They specialize in senior move management, and can be reached at 914-734-9187 or david@homeagainny.com; learn more at www.homeagainny.com
Debbie and David Feldman

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