You’ve decided to downsize to a smaller home but after decades living in your current house, you just don’t know where to start. Never fear. With years of experience helping seniors with their real estate needs, the team at Real Estate Real Easy can advise you on where to start.

Downsizing = simplifying

With downsizing, your main goal is to simplify your life. You don’t need to get rid of all your possessions, but you do need to pare down the number of belongings you have accumulated over the years—particularly when you are moving into a smaller home. Keep your favourite things but think about what you really use in your home on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis. You’ll find it amounts to a fraction of what is in your home.

The most important aspect of downsizing is reviewing your possessions and considering your new living space.

Where to start

Start in the areas of the house that you don’t use much as that will be least disruptive.This is where we usually store items that haven’t been used in a while and won’t be missed when passed on to children, grandchildren or to a relevant charity.

Sorting

Begin with the large items in each room—like furniture— and work your way down to the small items. If you start with the small items, you may get overwhelmed quickly. Prepare a list of what you want to keep or give away or use stickers and mark the items as you decide what to do with each piece.

Sort the items in each room as follows:

  • items that you want to keep (this includes items you are not currently ready to part with or items that you definitely know you will want in your new home)
  • items that will be passed on to family or friends
  • items that will be sold via a garage sale or auction
  • items that will be given to charity
  • items that need to be thrown away

Disposal

Work through the downsizing process by:

  • Putting items to be thrown away into your garbage & putting it out for collection each week
  • Call your charity of choice & arrange for a pickup as soon as you have enough items to justify them making a trip
  • Ask family & friends to make arrangements to get their items or to have their items picked up or mailed to them

Most importantly take your time and don’t stress

Plan to spend maybe 1 or 2 hours at a time working through the downsizing process. This is not a task that you can do for long periods of time at any age. There will be too many emotions and memories stirred up as you sort through the years of your life. Take time to recall all the fond memories and to share stories with friends and family. Be easy on yourself and flexible when making decisions.

If you need to discuss with family or friends what to do with certain items or belongings, take time to do so. Also, remember that you can change your mind about any item as long as it’s still in your possession. If you’ve started early and are planning ahead, you should be able to work at a pace that is comfortable for you and your situation. The downsizing process can be daunting. Make sure you approach it step-by-step until the job is finished. Ask family members or close friends to help you if possible.

If you are thinking of selling your property give Alex or Jason a call. We do whatever we can to ease you through the selling process. We have also collected our knowledge together into a free ebook especially for seniors to guide you through the selling and moving process.