THE SILVER LINING CHRONICLES - DOWNSIZING AND HOW TO PREPARE FOR IT
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.
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.
- 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:
- Big Brothers 631.234.0000
- Salvation Army 800.728.7825
- Vietnam Vets 631.582.0242
- Chabad JCC, Queens, NY 718.441.2470 x 1
- Society of St. Vincent DePaul 631.858.0380, 631.385.1226