One of the things My Divine Concierge specializes in is helping seniors downsize. We do not actually help them sell their homes or buy new ones, but we do help them with every aspect of moving. We help them pare down their possessions, pack the house, and unpack it on the other end.
Over the years, we have picked up on a number of downsizing myths that seem to pervade the American mindset. The point of this post is to dispel some of those myths. Below are three we run into quite often.
1. Selling Possessions Will Raise a Lot of Money
This first myth is one we have to dispel nearly every time we help a client downsize. For some reason, people seem to believe that all the possessions they have accumulated over the years are still as valuable as the day they were first bought. It is just not realistic.
That beautiful cookware set you purchased back during the Clinton administration is still a used cookware set today, no matter how well you took care of it. The same is true for those bed linens, accent tables, and boxes of Christmas ornaments sitting in the basement.
You may get some money for your excess possessions, but plan on garage sale prices rather than retail pricing. You are not going to make enough money to completely cover the cost of your move unless you’re selling genuine collectibles and antiques worth thousands of dollars.
2. We Can Make the Smaller Space Work
The next myth is one that says, “we can make the smaller space work without eliminating any of our possessions.” Again, it is just not realistic. Note that the first word in the compound ‘downsizing’ is ‘down’. You are not moving to a bigger space, you’re moving to something smaller. The same volume of possessions is not going to fit into that smaller space and still afford the same amount of room to move around and spread out.
It is uncomfortable to have to dispossess yourself of excess possessions. For some people, it is downright painful. But fitting your life into a smaller space inevitably means taking less with you. You cannot make a smaller space work unless you are willing to work with it.
3. All Retirees Should Downsize
It is interesting to observe a client who has decided to downsize because “everyone else is doing it.” There is this idea in our culture that all retirees should downsize at some point. But why? Is downsizing some sort of bizarre rite of passage for retirees?
The truth is that downsizing is not right for everyone. There are some people who just cannot bear to part with a home they have spent so much time in. Downsizing would absolutely devastate them. Likewise, there are others who can afford to stay in their current home but would never be able to afford buying something new.
There are as many reasons for staying put as there are for downsizing. To say that downsizing is the right way to go for all retirees is to ignore the fact that people and circumstances are different. Downsizing might not be right for you. Don’t do it just because all your friends are doing it.
We Are Here to Help
There are a few other downsizing myths that pertain more to finances than what we do at My Divine Concierge. We will leave those to financial experts. In the meantime, we are here to help with your downsizing project.
If the time has come for you to sell and move on, we can assist you throughout the entire process of moving. We can help you sort your belongings, pare down to accommodate your new space, pack up your house, move everything to your new house, and then unpack and put things away.
Please call us for more information about our service. We are experts in downsizing and moving.