Real Estate Agent with Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 NRDS ID#641625055


Selling the family home can be a bittersweet endeavor. Sure, you're excited about moving forward with the next stage of your life, but letting go of a lifetime's worth of personal belongings in order to move to a smaller space can leave you feeling confused, at best, and paralyzed by indecision, at worst.

It's not so easy to pare down to just the essentials. Our souvenirs occupy a big place in our heart. We count on them to help us remember and, sometimes, we fear that letting go of our possessions, will mean that, pretty soon, our memories will cease to exist altogether.  Jill Sackler

My experience with helping folks go through this very challenging and emotional process has shown me that a successful transition will result from adhering to a very structured plan. Organization is key to a positive downsizing experience. Decluttering the home is the immediate goal.  Jill Sackler

Begin Sorting.

  • Use Post-its to assign furniture, art, knick knacks, etc. to family members and good friends
  • Identify what you may want to sell on Ebay/Auction or
  • Plan for a tag/estate sale
  • Earmark donations to charity*
  • Rent storage (if necessary)
  • Shred sensitive documents
  • Coordinate a dumpster for all remaining trash
  • Call in a painting and spackling contractor
  • Arrange for a cleaning service; leave premises broom clean as per contract.
  • Shutdown utilities.


  • Pet arrangements i.e., board your pet for a day or two before and after moving day to minimize change in behavior due to a strange environment and unusual routines.
  • Shipment arrangements if moving out of the country.


*Well-known charities with local numbers:

  1. Big Brothers                              631.234.0000
  2. Salvation Army                          800.728.7825
  3. Vietnam Vets                            631.582.0242
  4. Chabad JCC, Queens, NY          718.441.2470 x 1 
  5. Society of St. Vincent DePaul    631.858.0380,  631.385.1226








Posted by

No matter how you spend your day, come home to this


Long Beach, NY sunset


Long Island Real Estate Needs? 

Reach me @516.395.8376


Long Beach is a diverse community that is never short on entertainment. Interested in moving to Long Beach?

Don't hesitate to call me and we can begin our tour.



CHARLES RUTENBERG REALTY INC.  *****  516-575-7500  *****


Jill Sackler, NYS Real Estate Broker Associate based on Long Island's South Shore

Jill Sackler




     Specializing in Lifecycle Real Estate Transitions

"When your family doesn't fit your family home, I can help."




©Jill Sackler 2010



This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Home Selling
Active Rain Newbies
Dedicated Bloggers
Long Islander Agents
Diary of a Realtor
salvation army
big brothers
vietnam vets
the silver lining chronicles
downsizing and how to prepare for it
sociey of st vincent depaul

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

I really enjoy this series, Jill.  And, your checklist is perfect.  There are only so many things that one would take on a move across town or across the country.  Donate the extras to a charity that can use them!

Jul 06, 2012 06:28 AM #4
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate
Hi Jill, like Chris said, this is not only a great list for those downsizing, but for anyone thinking of moving. It's amazing how we can accumulate so much "stuff". For those downsizing, it's even more imperative to go through everything as the new home will not have the space for it.
Jul 07, 2012 06:54 AM #5
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hi Jill, this is an excellent list - I have concur with others getting rid of clutter is a good idea throughout our lives - it always makes me feel good to get rid of things we don't use on a regular basis. Ah, maybe I'll go through my closet today and get rid of the clothes I don't wear often. :)

Jul 08, 2012 12:24 AM #6
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Hello Jill. It is a big deal to do this when it's not business or personal. My current home is now de-cluttered and believe it, I like it. My new place is a great deal smaller and I am aasking people to come and check out my things that will not make the move. Living simply is the answer but for me it is now about cutting things back and trying to remove the emotion from it. I'm working on it.

Jul 08, 2012 12:42 AM #7
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists

Jill, Larry and I deal with many boomer's and downsizing certainly isn't easy. No matter who is moving, it can be a stressful experience, but your checklist provides a good guideline. Plus, adding those phone numbers for donations is a big plus!

Jul 08, 2012 12:47 AM #8
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Thanks, Chris. I suppose they can.

Hi Steve - Oh, if it were only that easy...

Belinda - It's so hard. Everytime I've done it, I've sworn, "never again" and then a few years go by, and I forget (almost like giving birth.)

Ron - Thanks so much. It's just amazing how little we really need to get by. So many things we're positive we could never do without, but then, if we leave them in storage for a year or two and never once take them out, we realize how silly it is to keep paying each month.

Cindy - I know but, ironically enough, possessions take on an even stronger meaning for those ready to downsize. We're literally holding on for dear life.

Debb - I'm with you. I may very well have the opposite problem. I can't wait to throw things away. On occasion, I realized I really should have kept them as I still needed them.

Sheila - Good luck with everything moving forward - your sale, your purchase, a simpler life style. It's all good.

Thanks, Sheila - Stressful it is. I'm not sure there's any way around it but starting at least 3 months early and doing it methodically, step by step, is the answer.

Jul 08, 2012 04:15 AM #9
Don Sabinske
Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
Sabinske & Associates Inc.

Getting all the possessions sorted and to the right place is 90 percent of the battle, I think.  Well done, Jill.

Jul 08, 2012 05:27 AM #10
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Excellent advice, Jill.  I am already thinking in those terms.  I'm more than ready to scale back, but I use too much of the stuff that's taking up the space.  That's a challenge.  I know, I get rid of my wife's junk.  Then I'll have more room for my stuff.  8=)  I will keep your suggests handy just in case my plan doesn't pan out.  

Jul 08, 2012 10:47 AM #11
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


I am trying to posts about seniors and the services and problems they encounter.  This is very good advice for seniors.

Jul 08, 2012 11:58 AM #12
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Good advice, Jill.

I have a widow client who has been talking about selling for a couple of years. She has her eye on a larger home closer to her kids. She is at a stage in her life where a larger home does not make sense. I think that she simply cannot bear parting with so much of her personal property that would have to be eliminated if she moved into a smaller home.

Jul 08, 2012 12:53 PM #13
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

Very informative and congratulations on your feature although useful to all seniors will surely benefit as well.

Jul 08, 2012 02:38 PM #14
Andrew Capelli
Hill Elementary - Troy, MI

Jill: Great article!  I agree with some of the comments in that I think de-cluttering is something that should be done periodically, not just in anticipation of moving.  If unused items are cleared out from time to time, too, then it (hopefully) won't be so heartwrenching when moving becomes a necessity.  Thanks for sharing!  :)

Jul 09, 2012 01:26 AM #15
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Jill, Watching my MIL go through this years ago, you're right, it IS like holding on for dear life. Came back to say congrats on the well deserved feature!

Jul 09, 2012 01:36 AM #16
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

Why can't I just leave and let my kids take care of the rest? Yes...I think that is what I'll do. They owe me big time anyway.

Jul 09, 2012 10:14 PM #17
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Don - It's helpful to take a really big task and break it down into smaller pieces. With each goal you accomplish, your confidence grows and you feel good that you can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Mike - Now there's a plan. It's always smart to have a plan B in case your wife sees things differently.

Evelyn - That's great. I think we just have to be sensitive to the fact that things seem harder and take longer at an advanced age.

John - That may very well be it. In time, she'll probably understand this by herself. Being close to her kids will make up for any space she ends up losing.

Hi Charles - thank you very much.

Andrew - So true, but some people have a really hard time with that.

Cindy - thanks so much. It's always a happy surprise when that happens.

Steve - They certainly do owe you big time. From my recollection of previous posts, you were an awesome father. Run it by them and see what they think.

Jul 09, 2012 11:35 PM #18
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Jill, I know I've said it before, but your SILVER LINING CHRONICLES and their content do make for informative reading and should be made up in a book!

Jul 11, 2012 08:55 AM #19
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

That's so nice, Ellen. Maybe someday. I'll have to look into how to do it.

Jul 11, 2012 12:39 PM #20
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jill, What a timely message for anyone thinking of moving. No Steve #17 that is my plan.


Jul 11, 2012 01:31 PM #21
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL - (561) 716-7824 - CRS, ABR, GRI

Jill,  What a good list this is and how very useful it will be to some folks.   The process of moving after so many years can seem monumental, but you've broken it down into detailed steps.  Nice job!

Jul 12, 2012 11:08 AM #22
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Hi Elyse - thanks so much. Monumental is certainly the right word.

Jul 12, 2012 11:41 PM #23
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Jill Sackler

LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
Long Island Living - Where Memories Are Made
Spam prevention