You and your spouse have decided that it is time to downsize. You no longer need that big house you raised your family in, and having less space to care for sounds very appealing after decades of mopping floors, vacuuming carpets, and so on. Great. You call My Divine Concierge to help you pack what’s going and get rid of what is not. Then you wonder, “is there anything in my home I should be leaving behind?”
It has been our experience that leaving things behind usually entails big pieces of furniture or other things that are difficult to move. Here’s what you need to know: waiting until packing day to decide if you should leave anything behind for the new owners is waiting too long. Those are the kinds of decisions that need to be made before the house is ever put up for sale.
For example, let’s say you have an upright piano and no intention of taking it with you to your smaller home. Figure out what you want to do with it as early in the process as possible. If you wait until packing day, you may be rushed into a decision that is not in your best interests. In short, downsizing goes a lot more smoothly when you have fewer decisions to make on moving day.
Getting a Better Price
One very good motivation for leaving certain things behind is getting a better price on your house. Imagine having an entire garage filled with lawncare tools and equipment. The fact that you are moving to a condominium where lawn care isn’t necessary means you have no need of that stuff. If leaving it behind allows you to command a few thousand dollars more for your home, then leave it. Otherwise, put it up for sale during the last few weeks before your move.
Considering Your New House
Something else to consider is your new house. Perhaps you’re planning to move to an apartment that is already fully furnished. You would only need to take your personal belongings and any mementos important to you. Everything else could be left behind. Again though, it is a matter of whether doing so would increase the resale value of your home or not.
Items Not Worth Keeping
We hate to have to say it, but a lot of times the items left behind as a result of a moving day decision aren’t really worth keeping. The items in question are in poor enough condition that the homeowner decides to just leave them for the new owner. Such cases may constitute leaving trash in the home, which is never a good thing to do. In some cases, it might even violate the conditions and terms of sale.
Specific Buyer Requests
Lastly, you may find that in selling your home, a buyer requests that you leave something behind. A buyer might want the island in the kitchen. Another might request that you leave behind the dining room set or the washer and dryer. These are all things that can be worked out during negotiations. Decisions have to be made based on the value of the items in question, to both you and your potential buyer.
The process of downsizing, by definition, means you will not be able to take everything with you to your new home. That’s okay. After all, that’s the point of downsizing. The lesson to learn here is one of not waiting until packing or moving day to think about what might be left behind. The earlier you make those decisions, the easier packing and moving day will be.