Emotions can make downsizing tough. Emotions such as sadness, guilt, fear, anxiety are common. Recognizing and understanding those emotions is key to moving from being overwhelmed by the changes and moving forward. Understand it takes time to go through and determine what to do with what you have and give yourself that time.

Stay positive and focus on the benefits of downsizing:

  • Simplifies your life with less to take care of, thus reducing stress
  • Have time to spend on things outside of home maintenance
  • Boost house value when you go to sell
  • Time to focus on all the memories ahead not that have already happened
  • The new activities and friends in your future
  • Consider the joy your unused stuff can bring others

To start, address your stuff. This will help get your house ready to sell and make it easier to pack.

  • Start with the items that are no longer in use (clothes that don’t fit, bikes that are too small, toys that are the wrong age).
  • Focus on keeping what brings happiness now and what you plan on using in the future, the rest can go. Eliminate duplicate items or items that you won’t need at the next place.
  • For valuable items that you no longer need figure out the best way to sell them (garage sale, consignment, online) and make a little extra money.
  • Enlist family and friends or a professional to help you go through items.
  • Maria Kondo suggests addressing your items based on categories in this order: clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous, and then mementos. Other organizers suggest going room by room, starting with rooms that are used the least or in the case of downsizing rooms that won’t be at your next place.
  • Do not be afraid to throw things out or donate to those that need them.

Getting your house ready to sell. As Realtor Carissa Garpstas told folks at a luncheon here at United Zion Retirement Community, “Buyers are looking for houses that look like those on HGTV”. Unfortunately, those things that make the house home for you, don’t always appeal to buyers. People are looking at how their lifestyle and needs are going to be served by your house. Here are a few good steps:

  • Make sure the basic repairs are done and that it is clean. Buyers are looking for houses that are well cared for.
  • Have a couple of real estate agents come and give you an appraisal and their thoughts. They can help you determine what is worth fixing or other items that need to be addressed.
  • Stage your home. You may not be able to make it look exactly like those houses on HGTV but think like a home buyer and what will appeal to them. Your real estate agent can help.
  • Evaluate your curb appeal. A freshly cut lawn, well-trimmed shrubs and some annuals can go a long way.
  • Make it look like you have plenty of storage. Buyers are looking for space to store their stuff. Reduce items in closets and other areas to make your storage space look larger.

Life Plan Communities often have waitlist of 1-3 years so use that time to reduce the unnecessary items in your house and make those small repairs. Once the call comes in that a unit is available, you will need to be able to get your house up for sale quickly. Ready to make the move to downsize? Come for a visit today. Give us a call at 717-627-8421.

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