Tips for downsizing when it’s emotionally difficult

Moving into a new home isn’t always exciting, especially when you have to downsize during the move. Maybe you have aging parents who need to move into an assisted living community, you’re downsizing because your grown children have moved out, or another emotional transition is coming up. Whatever the reason, here are some tips for making it through your downsizing process:

#1: Don’t feel like you have to do everything by yourself, or right away.

Big life changes can often be so emotionally exhausting that you may realize you don’t have as much physical or mental energy as you normally do. If you feel like there’s too much on your plate, think about how you can spread out the tasks on your to do list. Prioritize the hard deadlines, such as the move out date on your home seller’s agreement or lease paperwork, and find ways to give yourself more flexibility with the lower priorities. For example:

  • If you don’t have time to sort through all your belongings before your moving date, rent a storage unit for one month. This will give you more time to decide which items you want to keep, sell, and donate.
  • Cash in on some of the favors your friends have been offering. Next time someone asks if there’s anything they can do to help out, don’t politely shrug them off—tell them you need help packing up your things and pricing out moving companies.
  • Delegate tasks that you don’t personally need to handle. Let Everything But The House sell your oversized couch and outdated collections, and hire someone on TAKL to clean your home after you’ve moved everything out.

#2: Allow space for all the emotions.

Like any transition, downsizing will come with highs and lows. It may be exciting to move into the next stage of your life, but scary to leave what’s familiar behind. You may enjoy reminiscing about fond memories as you pack up your home, but feel sad to give up sentimental items you don’t have room to keep. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s important to give yourself the time and mental space to fully experience each emotion before you leave your old place.

#3: Think about how you can keep especially meaningful items close to you.

Do you have a grandfather clock that’s been passed down for generations, or another item that you always wanted to keep in the family? These furniture pieces may not be able to fit into your new condo in downtown San Francisco, but that doesn’t mean you have to give them up for good. Ask your children if you can give them a family heirloom now, instead of decades from now in your will.

#4: Let some of your belongings benefit a cause you really care about.

Downsizing often means giving up belongings that carry a special meaning, but which won’t fit in your new home. For instance, it’s fun to think about the times when your young children would jump up and down on your oversized couch out in Hillsborough, but now you may need something smaller to fit comfortably in your new space. If you’re a very sentimental person, it may be easier to give up these items if you know they will support someone else in need. Check out our blog post listing Bay Area nonprofit organizations which could benefit from your old furniture.

#5: Give yourself some exciting things to look forward to.

Although it’s important to let yourself grieve the loss of your home, you’ll also want to find the positive aspects of moving into your new space. Think about the opportunities you have to design a new haven! You can enjoy some good old fashioned retail therapy and try out new decor styles you’ve never considered before. Once you know the dimensions of the rooms in your new home, you can even custom design new sofas and sectionals to meet fulfill all the points on your wish list. Start by browsing our most popular styles online and let us know which you like best. From there, we can help you determine the exact dimensions, colors, and features you want for your couch, sectional, and recliners to fit your new home.

Let us know how else we can help you during this transition!