The Downsizing Journey - Where The Heck To Begin?
Updated: Mar 24
Webster's definition of Downsizing your home means that you trade your present house for a smaller or less expensive one. For instance, you might switch over to a condo or townhouse, or you could move to a home similar to yours in a more affordable area of town. What Webster failed to mention was another very viable option, downsize in your current home or what we call aging-in-place.
So now that you've decided downsizing is a good idea what's the reality that it will actually happen and where to begin? This is about the time an image seeps into your brain from a movie when you're locked in a vault filling fast with water and its getting higher and higher. You're breathing the last 2 gulps of air and thinking what the hell am I going to do with all of our stuff we've accumulated over the last 20, 30, 40 years?
Hold on...your life raft has arrived! Downsizing has emerged into a cottage industry resulting in a vast number of resources available as you travel through your Downsizing Journey. Did you know 10,000 baby boomers in the US will turn 65 every day until 2030? Hence, this 65+ market population, YOU, are extremely attractive to the product, services & real estate markets targeting the healthiest and youngest segment of Active Adults. Today we are going to narrow our focus on your stuff and the options available to assist you in what to keep, sell, give or donate. These critical decisions will help you determine the space you will need in your newly downsized life.
Tip #1 - What to Keep? "Does your stuffand the things around yourepresent who you are today, or who you were in the past?" – The Unclutter Angel
Do you have a home gym, office setup, a guest room for visitors, or multiple sets of den furniture? Deciding what you really need to keep will help you answer the basic number of bedrooms question. This in turn helps as you decide how small the next home can truly be.
Tip #2 - Give or Sell?
As you probably have already been told kids don't want boomer parents' furniture, china and/or knickknacks. As such these items are going to auctions, thrift shops — or dumps. As you can imagine having 10,000 boomers turning 65 daily results in a marketplace glut of furniture, flatware, crystal, clothing, knickknacks etc., Auction houses, consignment shops and believe it or not even non-profits that take free donations are being very selective on what they will take. And the dump is the last place we want to see our stuff. However, if you're patient, take the time to do your research, eventually you will find an eco-friendly home and possibly make some $$$ for your departing items.
"Does your stuff and the things around you represent who you are today, or who you were in the past?" – The Unclutter Angel
Tip #3 - Resources Available
If you don't have time or feel comfortable sorting through your attic, closets, pantry, storage units etc., researching eco-friendly options on where to sell and/or donate your departing items there are companies that can assist in part or do it all. Designs By Jujubz located in Austin, TX offers downsizing & move management services. Our company is a member of and certified through the National Association of Specialty & Senior Move Managers® (NASMM). NASMM members will help you downsize, organize and simplify your current home. The National Association of Specialty & Senior Move Managers® is the leading membership organization for Move Managers in the United States, Canada and abroad. NASMM Senior Move Managers® have significant expertise in resources and approaches that save money, reduce stress, and produce quality results. Here's a link to find a Move Manager in your town. https://www.nasmm.org/find-a-move-manager/list/?zip=78737&radius=50&submit=Search We are also members of NAPO National Association of Productivity & Organizing another excellent resource for Downsizing Professionals. https://pro.napo.net/
Tip #4 - Aging In Place
Moving may not be the best decision for you or your aging family member right now. Many seniors are deciding to downsize but stay in their current home. With that said a thoughtful aging-in-place plan needs to be created as things that make living enjoyable and rewarding get harder with time unless we actively plan for ways to keep them fun and easy longer.
Through NASMM@HOME, Senior Move Managers can help you with some or all of these tasks:
Defining your vision: "Where do we begin?" We can help you prioritize what areas need work.
Creating a floor plan and repurposing your existing space so it works better for you NOW.
Evaluating what you want in your home.
Deciding what will be donated, sold or discarded and executing your wishes.
Determining your future needs and simplifying your lifestyle ~ gaining the freedom to live the life you want. (For example, the things you use daily must be in easy-to-access places.)
Exploring home care maintenance concerns.
Reducing home safety concerns and eliminating common in-home hazards.
Downsizing is not for the faint of heart. But the good news is you're not alone. There are over 56M seniors in the US. Specialized senior services organizations like NASMM are here to help guide and provide focused services along your Downsizing Journey. Whether you decide to move or stay in your current home, as a trained NASMM & NAPO member Designs By Jujubz team accomplishes a great deal in very little time, so you save both time and money. The end result: you are happier with how your existing or your new home looks and feels! Learn more @ jujubz.com