I’m so humbled and blessed. I was approached by a husband/wife team of Realtors to partner with them. They specialize in helping individuals age 55+ find the perfect community to fit their individualized need(s).
So why did they contact me? Because they want their clients to have access to a Professional Organizer who can help them downsize, make decisions regarding what to do with their excess possessions and who can support them
throughout this emotional moving process.
In honor of our first joint presentation next month, I decided to dedicate this month’s post to summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of downsizing before one moves.
Let me start with the Advantages:
Save Money on moving fees: If you secure the services of a moving company, typically you only pay for what you move. So it make sense that if you downsize your possessions before you move, you’ll have less to move and therefore will pay less.
Save money on storage units: Many times, people don’t have or make the time to downsize before a move. As a result, they move everything. If they’re lucky enough to move to a larger home with more storage space, hopefully storing all this items will not be an issue. However, if they are downsizing their living space, this may not be an option and they may have to resort to renting a storage unit to house their excess. So, if you downsize before you move, hopefully you downsize your possessions enough so renting a storage unit will not be required.
Save time packing: By downsizing your possessions first, you’ll have less to pack; thus saving valuable time.
Save time unpacking: Since you’ve packed less, it only makes sense that you’ll have less to unpack and will save valuable time on this end as well.
Less Stress: If you downsize your possessions before you move, you should feel more in control of the process. In addition, hopefully you’re only moving the things you use and the things you love so that should be less stressful. So finding a home for them in your new place where they can be showcased, and not stuck in a closet, should bring you joy!
Save Time Cleaning/Maintaining: Once you move into your new place with fewer possessions, you’ll have fewer items to clean and maintain. What should you do with all this free time? How about spending time with the ones you love and doing the things you love instead of spending time doing the things you have to do?
Decision-Making: If you haven’t downsized your items before or even if it’s been a while, you’re in for a rude-awakening. You’ll be faced making decisions for each and every item you own… should you keep it, gift it to a loved one, sell it, consign it, donate it, upcycle it, repurpose it, recycle it, or trash it, etc.? This is a process you will probably need to go through sooner or later so why not get it over with and enjoy the ride? I believe you’ll find the decision-making process very freeing. As I tell clients… downsizing your possessions is like exercise. It’s very difficult at first because you’re not used to it. But the more often you do it, the better you get at it and the easier it becomes.
Think about your loved ones: If you choose never to downsize your possessions or if your end of life comes before you start the process, now what? Who will be left with dealing with the mess? If you truly love your partner, children, grandchildren, other family members, friends, etc., please don’t burden them with this project.
Think about your stuff: If you don’t downsize your own possessions before you pass, what will become of it? Maybe you’ll be lucky and a loved one will painstakingly find a home for each and every item. Or on the other extreme, may your loved ones won’t want to be bothered and will merely rent a dumpster and have it hauled away to the landfill. Is that where you want your treasured memories to end up?
Think about the joy your excess “stuff” will bring its new owners: Let’s say you have two 12-place china settings. You know you don’t need two because you’ve had extra set for years, have never used it and it’s still in its original packaging. Just imagine the joy you’ll bring another person or family who’s been eating off paper plates. There are no words… the food will look better, smell better and even taste better for its new owner.
Home Inventory: Downsizing and packing is a fantastic time to take inventory of your possessions. This can be used for a multitude of reasons: insurance purposes, calculating net work, estate planning, etc.
Make a little “moola”: You may have some high-value items you no longer want but don’t want to donate because of their value. Then sell them and use the cash for whatever you want!
Now for the Disadvantages of Downsizing before you move:
Sorry but I can’t think of any. None! Nada! Zip!
I truly hope I've convinced you to start downsizing today... even if you're not planning to move! :)
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” ~Socrates~
Brenda Tringali, Organizing, Productivity & HR Specialist
At Your Fingertips Organizing
Serving Greater Myrtle Beach, SC or "virtually" anywhere (via phone/video)
Brenda Tringali is the owner of At Your Fingertips Organizing. She provides Life/Workplace/Residential Organizing & Productivity services to clients in the Myrtle Beach, SC area & “virtually” anywhere via video, phone, etc. Drawing from her 30 years of Human Resources/Staffing experience, she also helps clients with HR/Staffing/Job Search needs as well. Brenda is an active member of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing professionals). She is also Chair of the NAPOCares Committee which highlights the community outreach efforts of NAPO members, NAPO Chapters, and NAPO Business Partners as they reach out to share the three “T’s” of Social Responsibility: their Time, Treasures, and Talents.