One of the biggest emotional challenges when downsizing is letting stuff go. Our emotional connection to ‘our stuff’ dictates how challenging this can be –
- Family dynamics and friendships can get strained.
- People can get bogged down with wanting to dictate where everything goes.
- Family can also get bogged down with decisions about what to keep.
- You need to assess whether time and physical capabilities may mean it is now too late to sort through it all oneself.
Often I see people focusing their time on seemingly unimportant stuff and arguing about “stuff” with loved ones.
Sadly, as we age, reality needs to be the main focus –
- The home may now be too large, too expensive to maintain and/or have too much stuff to manage
- A supportive living environment may now be best to ensure core daily activities like eating, dressing and bathing are met
- For families, they often have to step in when their loved one is no longer capable of managing the home or understanding the situation.
Consider that most of us have more stuff that we had decades ago!
- It is important to assess what you can do and what you need help with. Setting priorities is essential.
- Ensure you source the necessary support and non-judgmental assistance.
- Be kind to yourself and your loved ones
- Do not under-estimate how physically and mentally challenging it can be.
- Remember, in the end “it is just stuff”.
We currently live in an “age of abundance of stuff”, where most of us can buy what we want when we need it, thus many of our homes are overflowing with stuff, making a downsizing move quite daunting. Most of our lives we have upsized, so we are not necessarily experienced at downsizing.
Although it is not easy, we can all do it – the key is to find a way to move forward. So, realistically –
- Where do you start?
- How to plan it all, get it done and achieve deadlines?
- What if you physically can’t do it all?
- Availability of family or loved ones to help?
- Will you need professional assistance like allsorters?
- Realistically, what will it cost?
- Clarifying goals and priorities, keeping on track and coming to terms with the transition
- Setting out a timeline – the move, sale of house, settlement
- Where to maximise your time for greatest return
- If selling the family home, how to make it sparkle for sale (maximising the sale price, whilst minimising costs)
- Identifying what to take and what must go –
- Favourites (must haves, what you love)
- Functional items (what you currently use and what will support you in your new lifestyle)
- Farewelling what must go (give, sell, donate, toss)
- Getting it all done –
- Packing, moving, unpacking
- Sorting what’s left – items to be sold, recycled, donated or disposed of
- Refreshing and presenting the property for sale to maximise its sale price
allsorters specialise in assisting senior adults in their third age and their families – sometimes our clients have no family to assist them, sometimes our clients just need a little guidance to get on the right track, sometimes their family maybe remote or time poor.
We are all unique and thus no client or home is the same, so we provide a customised service to meet each person’s needs. Don’t lose sight of what is important – sadly, often families find it hard to focus on settling their loved one into their new home because they are too busy sorting out what’s left behind in the home.
For carers on this journey with a loved one, it is also a challenging time to ensure your loved one’s safety, health, welfare and emotional needs, while also helping them to settle in and embrace their new lifestyle.
It’s a huge job sorting an entire home. With our service, you can concentrate on yourself or your loved one. Alternatively if you need just a little assistance and guidance, ask about our one hour Planning Consultation ($175).
To discuss your needs and how we can help, contact Mary