Selling a home and trying to downsize your life on a deadline can seem overwhelming and stressful to many people, especially seniors, as they are most likely transitioning from a large home with land into a small one or two bedroom condo or moving in with their adult children who will care for them. Fortunately, with some basic pre-planning and support of family and close friends, the downsizing effort doesn’t have to seem insurmountable.
For starters, when you decide downsize by selling your home, be sure you create an action plan for clearing the clutter and separating the items you can live without from the treasures you’ll keep for the rest of your life. Before listing your home, talk with your friends and family about having a garage sale. Set a date for this event early on, preferably before your house is listed on the market for sale.
Since most downsizers have an idea of what size home they’ll be transitioning into, it is still important to take accurate measurements of your new home. This way, you’ll know which furniture you can keep and which pieces you can sell or donate before you move (donations are eligible for a tax deduction). If you have adult children who have stored personal items in your home for many years, be sure to set a deadline for them to come pick it up or arrange to ship it to them immediately, otherwise it may become fair game at your tag sale in the downsizing process.
Here are some quick tips if you’re downsizing your life on a deadline:
1) Make a list – know your action plan and stick to it so you don’t tangle yourself and get pulled in ten different directions
2) Contact family and friends to let them know you have furniture you’d like to pass on to them
3) Contact local furniture dealers and have them come make offers and pick up your furniture
4) Contact your local Good Will or Salvation Army and schedule a pickup of furniture and household items you wish to donate
5) Keep in mind Churches and Charities when donating – these organizations have close ties with your community and perhaps a family could really use the linens and blankets you might have otherwise tossed.
6) Keep what’s special to you and sell what you don’t want
7) Don’t look back, always look forward to the new good times you’ll have