What is the rush to downsize?
When acquaintances ask me what I do for work, they are always fascinated to hear I am a professional downsizer. They often say “Wow! I wish I had known about your services for my Mom/Dad or for myself!” The stories then arise about taking too much stuff, not knowing what to do with sentimental items, how to tell if something they no longer wanted had value, or where to donate items. The conversations are all about the difficulties encountered and are varied in scope or detail. Most people I meet who have downsized are happy with their decision, although sometimes they wish they had done it sooner!
In our course of conversation, I like to ask people WHY they chose to downsize. Ahhhh…lots of different reasons and all so fascinating to me! (Yes, I love this business and everything is interesting to me!). As a colleague recently pointed out to me, we are getting many younger clients these days (50’s and 60’s), but still have our base of customers who are in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.
Reasons People Downsize
- Health and safety. Stairs, narrow walkways make it difficult for clients to maneuver as they age.
- Home maintenance has become burdensome. The idea of a smaller home, condo or community with less to clean and care for is very appealing.
- A big house with no family around has become an unnecessary and unwanted expense. Maintenance, utilities, taxes all are adding up too quickly.
- Moving closer to family and no longer needing to host the holiday events as children take over that role
- A change in lifestyle has occurred where the downsizer is now single, an empty nester.
- A need for change!
My husband and I decided to trade in our 4 bedroom house for a 3 bedroom townhouse. Our kids are now grown and off to college and probably won’t be moving home again. We wanted less maintenance and more time to travel. While I loved our old home and our wonderful neighbors, neither my husband nor I regret our move. Our new space fits us just fine and we enjoy the opportunity to meet new people and have new experiences.
Our clients often tell us they are not downsizing because they are old (We recently had a 93-year-old tell us that!), but because they want to make the choice of when/where they move to next while they still can. Our clients want to make the decision themselves…whatever their individual reasons might be. If you are thinking about downsizing, think about your reasons why it would be best for you. Once you decide on the “why”, figuring out the “where” will be easier.