Planning to Downsize

As the baby-boomers see their children (finally) leave the nest, minds inevitably turn to the next step in life’s progression.

You need to consider many triggers when the topic of downsizing arises. These include the following:


1.)        Dislike / Fear of moving

One partner will often resist any discussion of downsizing. There are many different reasons for this. Firstly, “we are very comfortable here”. Secondly, “we do not want to move from this area we know so well”. And thirdly, “we want to keep the house and space for the grand kids”. While these are valid concerns, sometimes the underlying issue is simply the stress of a move. There is also the emotional stress of downsizing. Shedding old and familiar things can be an extremely emotional process.


2.)        Dealing with surplus furniture, goods, and effects

The baby-boomers have been outstanding at acquiring possessions through the years. However, many don’t have much experience selling or recycling their vast collections of furniture, goods, and effects. When it comes time to do this, the sale results will often disappoint most baby-boomers. Over the last 25 years, the value and cost of furniture has dramatically decreased. Nowadays, people often turn to cheap, flat-pack furniture. This means the market for antique furniture is small and your goods may not sell for what you think it is worth. So on top of the emotional wrench of saying goodbye to your beloved furniture, there is also a significant financial decrement.


3.)        How to Sell

Most baby-boomers know that there are various auction houses throughout the city. Some have also dabbled in selling online with sites like eBay or Gumtree.  And of course, we have all had a go at the traditional garage sale.

However, as with most things in life, experience is the best way to get the best outcome. The same goes for selling your belongings. Selling the odd valuable online or at a garage sale is not the same as downsizing your family home. The task is enormous and time consuming.

On top of this, some sale processes can identify the seller’s home. If you have “pick-up” only on Gumtree sales, the buyer has to come to your home. This is unpalatable to a lot of people and makes selling goods even harder.

It is worthwhile looking to others for expertise in this area.


4.)        Timing

As in all endeavours, time can be either your friend or enemy. Downsizing can be relatively painless if you have the time up your sleeve and are motivated. In fact, when completed at a leisurely speed, the whole process can be cathartic. However, the headache beings if circumstances require a speedy downsize. A perfect storm of issues is likely to erupt, including:

– Limited capacity to undertake the work necessary

– Constraints on the ability to research value for one’s goods, furniture, and effects.

– A necessity to create vacant possession in order to sell the home


Downsizing can be a pleasurable activity. Reminiscing through memories, relieving yourself of clutter, and having less space to clean can be an enjoyable process. However, most of us are likely to experience the above issues. With downsizing becoming so popular, there is a pressing need for solutions.