Jun 29, 2017
Bigger isn’t always better and sooner or later, many Americans realize that the amount of square footage they had while raising a family of four may not suit an empty-nester.
Yet the process of “downsizing” isn’t just a reduction in space. It also means getting rid of the things you’ve collected to fill that space, a task that isn’t always easy – even for people who do it professionally. An article in St. Louis Magazine this month quoted one local estate sale company owner who noted that she asked a colleague to help her make decisions on what to toss and what to move to her new condominium despite the fact that assisting with downsizing is what she does for a living. Moreover, a lot of people are having to make those choices. According to one survey of older adults who were planning a move, more than two-fifths were shrinking their residential footprint.
What are some tips that may make the process easier?
• Find an objective eye. As the article noted, even the pros need help because it can be difficult to put aside sentiment which can make obvious choices seem far tougher than they really are.
• Don’t take it personally. Old furnishings you love may not appeal to anyone else. If no one wants to buy or even take a donation of a given piece, you may just have to accept that the rest of the world doesn’t feel as you do.
• Don’t think of it as downsizing. That term has negative connotations that can conjure images of decline and privation. Remember, you are making a positive change, not doing without. As one homeowner told St. Louis Magazine “I tell people, ‘We didn’t downsize; we right-sized.’”
• Take your time. Try not to rush the process and allow yourself to acclimate to the idea of a new living space and fewer possessions.