Downsizing can bring on the blues, not only because you have to let go of things you worked hard to get and feel attached to, but also because it takes such a huge amount of commitment and energy to complete. Having the blahs through the process doesn’t have to be your fate, even so.
Be Comprehensive in How You Get Rid of Your Stuff
When you downsize, many of your items may still be in great shape and have relatively decent market value. Some of these items might make meaningful gifts to friends and family members. If you play your cards right, however, you also might be able to bring in some money with these items, defraying the cost of your move. A great first place to start is by contacting both an appraiser and auction house. The appraiser can give you a verified value for what you have so you don’t set your price too low and miss out. The auction house can expose your goods to many buyers, simplifying the sale process. There are organizations that can host bigger estate sales in a manner similar to auction houses, too.
For items you don’t sell at auction, try posting notices in your local newspaper, sale websites or even social media. Your friends and family can spread the word through their own posts and word of mouth here, too. Another option that often works well for smaller items and clothes is to have a garage sale. You always have the choice of doing this independently, but many communities host neighbourhood or block garage sales, too.
Once you’ve explored all your revenue-building options, it’s time to donate and recycle. Charities are always looking for items like clothing, cookware and toys. Thrift stores accept these items, too, and they often accept goods like sports equipment, books, knickknacks and decorations. The rule of thumb here is to donate only items that are in good condition and that have full functionality. Anything where parts are missing or damaged should go to recycling, unless you can find people who want the items as is (perhaps for projects or hands-on learning) or can provide resources for making the necessary fixes.
Understand Your New Property
Most real estate agencies provide a full range of properties to meet the needs of their clients–visit Dixons for an example of the diversity you can find in the market. You can find condos, apartments, single family homes, townhouses and many other options. Each of these comes with its own quirks. For example, if you buy a condo, your homeowners’ association may provide services like landscaping, which might mean you can get rid of items like lawnmowers, hoses and wheelbarrows. Even so, they usually give you a fairly tiny storage unit that might not compensate for having a basement, attic or garage. Be realistic about how you want to live and what your goals are, and make sure that your new property truly allows you to keep what you need to meet those objectives.
Start Your Downsize Early
One of the reasons why downsizing is so depressing for the bulk of homeowners is that they get caught in a time crunch and get overwhelmed. Start your downsizing process early so that you can take your time and get the help you need from professionals, friends and family members. Beginning well in advance also is advantageous in that it gives you plenty of opportunity to consider all your options in terms of how you want to arrange, move and organize your furniture and other possessions. Lastly, with less pressure to make hurried decisions, you’ll be less likely to experience regret and can feel confident in what you finally choose to do. In the long run, this approach can mean a more comfortable, functional living arrangement when you’re done.
Identify the Meaning or Function of Your Space
When you’re looking at properties during the downsizing process, have a vision! Think less about what you’re bringing with you and more about what you want the space to be. For instance, a tucked away corner of your new living area might be perfect for storing your kids’ toys, or you could turn it into a cosy reading nook. Once you’re sure what you want to create, it’s easier to let go of items that aren’t in line with your plans.
Downsizing can be downright painful, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Taking advantage of all the ways you can find homes for your goods, being realistic about your new property’s quirks, getting a good head start and seeing the purpose in your new space all remove some of the hassle.