It’s a decision that everybody faces at some point – if or when to sell the family home. Just the idea of going through decades, even generations, of memories, heirlooms and other acquisitions can be overwhelming. Even once you’ve made the decision, there’s no getting around the fact that downsizing can be hard. It’s personal and emotional. But with some planning, forethought and a bit of perspective, it might even be a little enjoyable.
- When moving to Anand Vihar, you’re downsizing, not downgrading. The townhomes at Anand Vihar are up to 2,600 sqft. Still plenty of room for you to enjoy for yourself as well as having your family and friends stay over when they visit!
- One of the first things to remember is to start sooner rather than later. Approach de-cluttering and downsizing as a series of small projects rather than waiting and having to do it as one big rushed project. It will be less stressful, and you’ll have time to really go through things.
- Another key to keeping things calm and coordinated is to make sure that everyone agrees that it’s time to let go of the house and the stuff in it. Once everyone agrees, create an organization table. Figure out how you’re going to sort things – By room? By category? Or simply “Keep”, “Toss” or “Donate”? Make sure to include everyone in the process so that there are no hurt or angry feelings. As you sort, keep some guidelines in mind:
- Toss – Old newspapers, ripped/damaged clothing, cracked dishes/china.
- Donate – Things that charities really need. i.e. Bed linens, toiletries, storage ware, stuffed animals, even old building supplies.
- Sell – Gold & silver. Anything worth over $25. But do your research. Stuff that looks like junk (old toys, pop culture memorabilia, travel posters, maps, bottles, old electronics, old rugs, ugly vases & lamps) may actually be worth something to a collector. Call in a professional appraiser to make sure you’re not cheating yourself. Once appraised, items can be sold in auctions, resale shops, and yard sales.
Experts Janet Hulstrand & Linda Hetzer (authors of Moving On, a guide to downsizing) say their best advice to people going through the process is to “keep the memories, get rid of the stuff.” As you’re sorting and cleaning, tell stories about prized items, take photos, enjoy the memories. It makes it easier to part with things, and reminds you why you loved them in the first place.
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to scale down, think about the benefits to downsizing and buying a new home:
- Having less home to maintain which provides more leisure time, and more money to put towards that leisure time
- Spending less on operating costs such as repairs, utilities, taxes, etc.
- The excitement of selecting a new community, choosing a new home, customizing the floor plan, all of the wonderful new upgrades, etc.
Before you make the final decision, visit your potential new home for an extended period of time. Making the move from a larger home to a townhome or condo can take some adjusting. Living in a planned community can take some adjusting, too. If you’re moving a long distance, spending a few months living in your potential new home is advisable. See how you feel about smaller quarters, the community lifestyle, the area in general. Weigh the PROS & CONS. You may realize that it’s not right at this time. Or that you’d rather keep your home up north, and buy a condo as a second home. Or that you’re so ready, you’ll sign the papers today.