Four ways to make downsizing easy
Over the years I’ve worked with several people downsizing from a large Beechwood-style homes into smaller bungalows or condos – apartments or townhouses or senior’s homes). In every case, it is a lot more work than anticipated. The problem is stuff, too much stuff to be precise —> or not enough room if you prefer.
Begin with sorting the stuff
The first step is to go through the stuff and sort it into three categories:
- To keep
- To consider*
- To toss, donate, recycle or sell.
(Of these three categories, the third is the most rewarding.)
Sorting is a great way to start the downsizing process. Sorting is about starting and doing something as opposed to being overwhelmed by the task. It is never too early to start.
It is never too early to start – an anecdote
I have a friend who when she moved she didn’t sort but put everything in boxes and put all those boxes in her new basement. After she moved, as she needed things she went down and got it. After a year what was still in the basement, she tossed, donated, recycled or sold. It worked for her as she was moving to a bigger house and it could work for you too if you start your sort early enough!
Three more things to consider as you get ready to downsize
I think neighbourhood is the most important thing. It is the number one most important thing to consider when moving. Statistically, most people who move within a city stay within five kilometres of their last home. This is your familiar area. Your friends live nearby. You already know the restaurants and where to shop.
Having a swimming pool and a gym in your building seems pretty great. So does having a library, a pool table, a party room, a car washing station and a rental suite for visitors. But sometimes less is more. Maybe one of reasons you are moving is to simplify your life, maybe you want to travel. If you have never swam or exercised on a regular basis, despite your good intentions, you will likely not start now.
Be prepared to compromise
Think of it as an adventure. Not only will you lose space, you will also lose some privacy. You will have to share the elevator with others. You may hear them or smell their cooking. Relax. It’s ok to get out of your comfort zone. It takes time to adapt to your new lifestyle,
*Note: this category should be reduced to zero before moving day. With luck and diligence, most of this will end up in the third category.