As a senior who has decided to downsize into a smaller place or even assisted living, you’ve already made the hard decision to sell your Halifax home. The next set of difficult decisions involves what to take with you. In your new home, you won’t have the room for everything you own. Also, you have made the decision to downsize your living space, so it makes no sense to be overcrowded from day one. You have to approach the process as one of getting ready for your new life, not shutting down the old one.
Debra Gould, known as The Staging Diva, noted that “with most homes, you can get rid of 30% of its contents and never miss it for a second.” She once helped a family get rid of 6000 pounds of clutter before the big day. How much could you live without it your new home?
Deciding What Makes The Cut
Discarding, selling, or giving your possessions away can be a grueling experience, as for most of us clothes, knickknacks, and other items can be like old friends we don’t want to part with even if we have nothing more in common. You may enlist children or friends to help you, but that can make the process more painful at times.
When you know you’re going to move, here are a few things that you can do to make decluttering and downsize less painful.
- Take time to grieve. Give yourself time to go through the decluttering process so that you can unemotionally part with what you know you need to part with.
- Breakyour decluttering down into small projects. If you mark on your calendar to clean out old cosmetics in the bathroom one day, purge your CDs and DVDs the next, and tackle the bookshelf on another day, you will feel less overwhelmed and have a sense of satisfaction when you are done for the day.
- Make every item pass the test of “Will this contribute to my new life?”If not, delegate the item to the pile of things you are discarding. Not sure what to give away and are what to pitch? Ask yourself “will this item contribute to someone else’s life?” Raggedy T-shirts and broken furniture should go in the trash, not to charity.
- Cut your losses. Most people have clothes, knickknacks, books, and hobby equipment they brought in a certain part of their life in hopes that they would lose 20 pounds, get rich from Beanie Babies, or take up origami that never materialized. The cost of your ill-fated purchases per year may seem less the longer you keep them, but time will not justify a bad decision. Pack it up.
- Don’t forget the pantry. Since you probably have less covered spaces your new home, discard or give away any food items you know you’ll never use, and pitch anything that’s expired. For items like spices, if you don’t know the expiration date, search online to see how long these things last.
- Leave no stone unturned. Keep in mind that no area of your possessions should be safe from evaluation. If you have prided yourself on your good cooking all your life, you are not obliged to keep every cookbook you’ve ever bought. Keep your favorites or pass them on your kids, and pack up the rest. If you love kitchen gadgets, seriously consider what you use. If that pasta maker, Salad Shooter, or ice cream maker has years of dust on it, it’s time to pass it on.
- Give yourself a few breaks. If you come across something you absolutely love but don’t use, you may let it slip into the pile of items to take. If you do that too much, your pile won’t shrink enough to fit into your new home. You can however put a few items aside to reevaluate later down the decluttering process.
- Take it away. Nothing makes it easier for you to second-guess yourself than to have boxes or bags of unwanted items hanging around your home. When you have a few breaks, get them to their destination. You won’t be tempted to pull items out of the discard pile and will see the results of your hard work.
Help With Planning Your New Life
If you are a senior considering whether to sell your home, now is the time to talk to a real estate agent. As an experienced Halifax professional who specializes in meeting the needs of Boomer and senior clients, I can help you transition to the next step in your life.
For help in making your decision about selling, click here for a copy of my free ebook Top 11 Questions Boomers and Seniors Ask About Selling Their Home.
If you are looking to buy or sell a house with a space that can be an income unit or separate space for parents or children, call me today. If you are ready to sell your home for maximum value, the best place to start is by clicking here and scheduling an appointment.
Roy Thomas SRES is a Senior’s Real Estate Specialist and a REALTOR® with Sutton Group-Professional Realty. Licensed since 1991, much of Roy’s practice is helping retirees with their later in life moves. Roy can be reached at 902-497-3031, by email: RoyThomas@RoyThomas.ca or read other articles online at www.HalifaxSeniorLiving.
You may be interested in these posts also:
- Why You Need A Well-Crafted Will Prepared By An Attorney
- Six Things To Consider Before Listing Your Halifax Home
- Cleaning Out The Family Home
|Roy Thomas SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) is a REALTOR® with Sutton Group Professional Realty. Since 1991 Roy specializes in helping retirees with their later in life real estate transactions. If you are contemplating a move and would like a complimentary copy of Roy’s guide to downsizing entitled “Preparing to Downsize” please click here.|