How do I know if it’s time to downsize?

Many empty-nesters and beyond debate that question almost daily. Residents often remain in their big homes almost by default – it can be hard to imagine a move. But ask yourself: “Will I be better off if I move? Will I get more out of life if I don’t have to maintain a large house? Could I use the extra time to travel, go to the theater or become engaged in that “cause” I have always wanted to? In short, is staying put actually holding me back from enjoying the things I have always envisioned for the next stage of my life?

For many, the answer is yes. Making a change in housing can be a step toward living life to the fullest.

Some tips for coming to the decision:

  • “Am I saving/storing these antiques from my parents and grandparents for my kids?” Reality is, the kids don’t want them. Just ask. Many want a small item to remember grandparents by, but their personal style is not a match.
  • “How do I get rid of my grandfather’s table or my mother’s china set?” Let go of the guilt. Keep one or two things that you actually use regularly – and let go of the rest. That still honors your ancestors.
  • “How do I know what I can keep after I move?” Best bet is to find the next home first, then do a little space-planning. After that, perhaps make a list of what you will not take, room-by-room, and email to your kids, family, friends. If they want any, ask them to come get it!

This type of move isn’t always for the faint-of-heart. Downsizing can take a team. Start with a good real estate agent who can help you explore the homes that represent your next lifestyle – whether a townhouse, condo, apartment or even assisted living if health changes require it. Then comes the team – move managers, de-clutterers, charities for donations, vendors to prep the former home for sale. That good real estate agent will help manage the whole move.

Want to brainstorm? Call me to get the conversation started.

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