A few years ago, Zillow – the mega-popular online real estate marketplace – released a report on the state of downsizing. In it, they found that roughly 46% of boomers are currently in the process of downsizing, and 12% of owners between ages 45 and 64 are following suit. Have a look at the Resources for People Considering Downsizing here.
Still, the process can be challenging, bringing complex emotions to the surface and tricky logistical hurdles to the forefront. Downsizing generally requires you to sort through your belongings and cull your possessions, which many find physically and emotionally demanding.
If you are considering downsizing, you can consult the three types of resources listed below – a mixture of informative literature, supportive services and handy checklists.
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Before you downsize, you may want to read up on a few concepts surrounding the process. To start, try the scary-sounding (but surprisingly inspiring) The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, by Margareta Magnusson. In it, the octogenarian Swede offers sober advice on reducing your possessions to alleviate the burden on your family after you pass away. Despite its focus, the book is neither morbid nor preachy; instead, it’s a gentle reminder of the virtues of living moderately.
For a more specific take on downsizing, you can try Marni Jameson’s Downsizing the Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go, published by the AARP. The book gently walks readers through the process of downsizing, touching on the emotional and technical aspects of the transition.
As you prepare to take the plunge, you may need all the help you can get. While it’s common to enlist friends and family members to aid in the move, call in the experts is also a popular option.
Downsizing services help every step of the way as you downsize your home – from decluttering to move management. Working closely with you, they help sort through your belongings, tagging items to keep, sell, donate or discard. They can declutter and organize your old home to aid in the staging process as you list your house. And, as the big day approaches, they can coordinate the move – booking movers, acquiring packing supplies, reserving elevators, packing and unpacking.
In short, downsizing services take all the burden out of moving to a smaller home.
Even with a coordinated, professional downsizing company in your corner, you may still want to create a checklist. If only for your own peace of mind. While there are several checklists floating around the internet, consider this one, a thorough article/to-do guide from HomeLight that breaks down the process into four weeks. For each week, they offer a list of action items.
If you’re new to the idea of leaving the family home, take comfort in these three types of resources. Learn about downsizing and decluttering from a well-written book, handle the transition with ease alongside a professional downsizing company, and follow along with your very own checklist.