The Upside of Downsizing: Six Things to Know

By Katherine Grondin, Downsizing Expert with Home Transition Resource

Birch Hill Retirement Community Manchester NH

A recent poll of move managers resulted in a long list of definitions of downsizing, but they unanimously agreed on the following:

“Downsizing” is a positive word; it’s a gift to yourself and your children; it’s a time to choose what you love, need, and use. Downsizing is an opportunity to take charge of your life, to move forward with joy.

The most often repeated definition of downsizing was that it is LIBERATING!

We see time and again that the most positive result of downsizing is the liberating feeling once the process is completed. Downsizing IS liberating; living with less will absolutely simplify your life. So, if you are ready to embark on the path to freedom, these 6 downsizing “surprises” will inspire you to get started.

One: Your Children Will Thank You

Many adult children whose parents have downsized the family home have expressed happiness and relief that their parents did not leave the task to them. On the flip side, we have witnessed many instances where the children must clear out an estate while grieving the loss of a parent and have struggled through the process. Downsizing now will give an amazing gift to your children, freeing them of the burden of making decisions on your behalf after you are gone. This will provide you with wonderful peace of mind knowing that you have made the decisions about your belongings and have taken control of the process. Even if your children don’t thank you now, they will definitely thank you later.

Two: You Will Get on a Roll and Not Want to Stop

You will quickly begin to see the benefits of downsizing. As your home becomes less cluttered and more organized, you visualize living with less. More importantly, you will feel lighter and your mood will change. Recognizing these changes will motivate you to continue. All of a sudden, you will recognize that it didn’t take you as long to complete the process in one room because you were actually having fun. Before you know it, you will be done! Working toward the goal of a simplified, organized, less-cluttered lifestyle is a great feeling.

Three: Saying “YES” to Donating Creates Positive Feelings

Donating items is one of the most positive aspects of the downsizing process. Identifying local charities and donation drop-off locations will make you feel good about what is happening to the items you no longer need. Knowing others will cherish your items, find them useful, or make their lives easier makes letting go more joyful. Donating is all about helping others, and helping others makes us feel good about ourselves. Making the decision to donate will go a long way toward making your decisions easier and make downsizing something to look forward to.

Four: Honoring Your Decisions Means Honoring You

Do not second-guess your decisions. Your first instincts are usually right. Once you’ve made a decision, move on and don’t look back. This is sometimes the most difficult thing to do, but just do it. There is no looking into the donation bag later and pulling things out. In fact, remove that bag to the garage or basement to await pick up or delivery to the charity. Stick with your decisions in order to honor yourself and your commitment to let go of those possessions you no longer need. Honoring your decisions honors your need for liberation and a happier life.

Manchester New Hampshire

Five: Reliving Stories is a Wonderful and Necessary Part of the Process

Take time during the downsizing process to relive stories about your possessions, including who gave them to you, who you were with when you got them, how you felt when you made the purchase or received the gift, etc. Take pictures of the item to revisit the memory later, and be grateful for its meaning in your life, but say goodbye to the item itself. Saying a proper goodbye will bring a joy to the downsizing process that will surprise you. Your downsizing experience will be a positive one when you walk down memory lane knowing the items you are passing forward to someone else will be appreciated just as much.

Six: Your Feelings Will Guide You Toward Success

There is no right or wrong answer as to whether to keep something. You need to trust your gut. If it is beautiful, useful or simply

For more useful tips and information about downsizing, visit Home Transition Resource.