Thinking of Downsizing? Don’t Make One of These 5 Common Mistakes
By: Special Guest Contributor, Bob Shannon of Seniorsmeet.org
Once many individuals reach their 50s, they begin the process of downsizing. With the kids all grown up and (mostly) out of the house, there is little need to hang on to so much stuff. From old trophies to unused gardening tools, you’ve likely found that you own more than you really need or desire. At this stage of life, it is common to want to simplify your life and move on to new adventures.
About to start the process of downsizing your home? Lisa, Lourdes & Carolyn of the Compass real estate team share five mistakes you should avoid to keep the process moving smoothly.
Holding on to too many items
Do you or your partner often get sentimental about material items? Those who tie their memories to objects will likely find it challenging to do any meaningful downsizing. Throwing away your child’s grade school report cards may even seem impossible. However, if you cannot separate your memories from the items in your home, it will be incredibly difficult to get rid of anything.
If this sounds like you, there are several options that you can explore. Although it may sound extreme, therapy can be surprisingly helpful. A trained counselor can help you understand why you feel such strong emotions when trying to throw out or donate belongings. They can also provide you with effective tools to work through the anxiety and sadness that you are likely feeling. If you aren’t experiencing significant distress about getting rid of items, an alternate option is to take pictures of special papers, artwork, and other items that you want to remember.
Taking excessive time to sort through your belongings
Another common mistake that many people make when downsizing is taking excessive amounts of time sorting through their belongings. Going through so many items at once can lead you to become distracted, which can substantially slow your progress.
To prevent ruminating over your belongings, and not moving forward as quickly as needed, set a time limit for yourself. During each organizing session, use your phone timer to stop yourself from getting caught up in distractions. This will ensure that you are staying on-task and that you complete your downsizing goals on time.
Staying in your current home if it no longer suits your needs
After downsizing your material belongings, you may find that your house is far larger than you need. If you now have one (or more) empty rooms, it is best to consider selling your home and moving into a smaller property.
Why is this so important? Upon purging a large number of items from your home, the temptation to fill it back up with new purchases can arise. Also, downsizing to a smaller home can give you access to extra cash from the sale of your current residence. These extra funds can be used to travel, pay off debt, or fund important purchases. When you are ready to sell your Chicago-area home, be sure to contact our experienced team.
Allotting too little time to sell your home
When planning to move to a smaller house, don’t make the mistake of allotting too little time to sell your current home. Despite your best efforts, this can happen if you find your dream home right away. In the event that you find yourself needing to buy before the sale of your home is finalized, you are allowed to request an extended closing.
Not hiring professional movers
Moving is stressful enough as it is. You can prevent injury and damaged items when using an experienced moving team. Professional movers can quickly and efficiently help you move everything to your new home, which saves you hours of time and effort.
Downsizing looks different for everyone. Whether this means selling everything and moving to a tiny house in the Caribbean or simply getting rid of excess clutter, using the above guidance can make the process even smoother.
Bob Shannon created SeniorsMeet.org, along with his wife, Mary, to have a website that allows seniors to meet up and talk about topics that are relevant to their daily lives. They hope to build SeniorsMeet into a community of like-minded seniors.