When downsizing your family home you will be faced with heirlooms, boxes of memories and souvenirs. Sorting through these items will bring up emotions and memories as most things have a story attached. I’ll be sharing tips to help you deal with this possible emotional rollercoaster.
Feeling guilty about downsizing your home? Let it go!
Letting go of the guilt is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome. Common things that cause guilt could be letting go of an heirloom. It was given to you so you feel the expectation to keep it forever. Maybe an heirloom is expensive and you are concerned about not getting your moneys worth when selling.
I might needs these items someday. Am I being wasteful? No you are not.
Did you have Depression-era parents and grow up with the “I might need it someday” mindset? It was considered wasteful to throw out things like broken appliances that could be fixed, slightly damaged clothing that could be mended or plastic containers that could be used for leftovers. It isn’t wasteful if you can find a new home for some of those items. Sometimes it just makes sense to let go of items that are taking up space even if they can be recycled or re-used.
Give away the hand-me-down clothing to a friend, women’s shelter or the salvation army. There is a good change those size 5 jeans are never going to fit again but could make a great difference to someone else’s life. Knowing that you are helping someone else in need will help you to not feel wasteful or guilty when parting with items.
Feeling cold hearted parting with trophies and souvenirs? Don’t because you are still a good person
Its natural to transfer love for a person into the objects you associate with that person. You will be letting go of things not the love for the person who gave it to you. If you are struggling letting go of sentimental items keep one or two and photograph the rest. Put the pictures in an album or shadow box. Same goes for emotional souvenirs from your youth.
Is the thought of downsizing making you angry? That’s perfectly normal
Moving and downsizing can be one of the most stressful things you can do. Its normal and at some point during this process you will get angry. Maybe angry with yourself for not starting the process of downsizing sooner. The feelings of guilt parting with items and feeling like you’ve wasted money. You could get mad at your spouse or children for not helping enough or helping too much and making you feel rushed. Be gentle with yourself when emotions run high.
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. Call Roy at 902-497-3031 or contact Roy here
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