Who do I need to help me begin downsizing? 13+ Key people

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As you consider downsizing your life, you will need some help. Many of us don’t want any help at all but it is best to start a list of those family, friends and professionals who can help me begin downsizing. They are people who support me physically and emotionally. Those boxes, don’t pack themselves.

Who do I need to help me begin downsizing?

Who do I hire to downsize Credit DownshiftingPRO
Who do I hire to Downsize @DownshiftingPRO

When it comes to downsizing, having a support network is crucial. Family and friends can provide emotional support and assistance in sorting through belongings. Lawyers and bankers can offer guidance on legal and financial matters related to downsizing, ensuring a smooth transition. Movers can help with the physical aspects of relocating, while real estate agents can assist in selling or finding a new home. Additionally, therapists can offer support and guidance throughout the downsizing process, helping individuals navigate any emotional challenges that may arise. Having a team of trusted individuals to lean on can make downsizing feel less overwhelming and more manageable.

Family:

Family Credit CanvaPro
Family Credit CanvaPro

This can be a double-edged sword. Some people may help, and others will hinder your efforts. You need to pick those people wisely and know that the ones who will support your efforts are the ones who are there for both emotional and physical support.

Seek someone out who will help you make decisions without an emotional component. They will help you choose what to take, what to let go, and what can be shared with other family members.

Friends:

Friends Credit CanvaPro
Friends Credit CanvaPro

Sometimes, the people who know you best are friends. They will know what is important to you and what causes you pain. A good friend can tell you as it is and help you make the tough decisions. Remember, it is your decision, not theirs, that you decide to keep or let go of. Set that boundary early so you can move quickly through the sorting process.

Financial Advisor/Accountant:

Accountant Credit CanvaPro 1
Accountant Credit CanvaPro

Having a financial advisor at the start of this downsizing process can help you determine what you want to do in the long run. Do you want to downsize so you can travel? Save money for an assisted care facility in the far future? Help your children out with a downpayment on their own home. Or do you want to pay off debts?

A financial advisor can help you figure out how you can finance the move and where to place the added equity of selling your home. They may also be able to assist with life insurance needs.

Bankers:

Banker Credit CanvaPro
Banker Credit CanvaPro

If you have already paid off your mortgage (first of all, congratulations—and lucky you), you may need to park the money from the sale of your home somewhere. You may also need bridge financing if you have two homes to carry until the sale closes. You may also need to get a loan to do a few renovations before you sell your home. Your banker is there to help.

Professional Organizer:

Professional Organizer Credit CanvaPro
Professional Organizer Credit CanvaPro

Once you have decided to downsize, you may seek out the help of a professional organizer to help you devise a plan to start decluttering, purging, and organizing. Working with a professional organizer can be very helpful if you need the motivation to tackle a specific project or they can be extremely objective. Any organizer worth their weight in gold will help you see the bigger picture. We tend to be people who can see the end of the project where you are more focused on where to start.

Hiring a professional organizer can also help you begin downsizing by working side-by-side to ensure that you get things done efficiently and without emotion. Yes, this process can be very emotional, but at times, you need to be ruthless, and having a professional guide you is priceless.

Lawyer:

Lawyer Credit CanvaPro
Lawyer Credit CanvaPro

You will need a lawyer for a few reasons: your will and the sale/purchase of property. It is best to always have access to a lawyer or attorney for any legal transaction.

Real Estate Agent + Stager:

Real Estate Agent Credit CanvaPro
Real Estate Agent Credit CanvaPro

If you are downsizing from a large family home to a condo or retirement home, you must sell your current property. Make sure to shop around and interview various candidates. Consider how they will market your property and whether they will help with staging or any contract work needed before the house is put up for sale.

Many real estate agents offer the services of a home stager. Be sure to take advantage of this perk by having the initial consultation and making the improvements yourself or hiring a staging company to come in and help. Stagers can arrange everything from a paint freshening-up to a full stage. At the very least, they will give you pointers on culling, furniture placement, and making your home shine for a successful sale.

Home Insurance Agent:

Insurance Agent CanvaPro
Insurance Agent CanvaPro

As you move into a smaller home, you must reassess your insurance needs. At this point, it is also wise to take a full inventory of what you have in your home.

Julie Bestry of  Best Results Organizing noted “While some professional organizers or insurance agents provide these services, there are also apps and practitioners who can come in, photograph, and log your possessions so that you know what you have, one you can get rid of, and what you need to insure better.” Also, consider what insurance is needed in transition if you are moving across the city or the country. Not all moving companies will have sufficient insurance should items get lost or stolen.

Movers:

Movers Credit CanvaPro
Movers Credit CanvaPro

If you are moving and taking some of your furniture, know you will likely need help downsizing. There may be two places to store your items (storage unit) and your new home. You may also drop items off with family members, so check that your moving company can make multiple stops.

Always interview more than one company, check for insurance and references, and inquire whether they will pack (a premium option) or you will do all the packing. You can also have them wrap the big pieces while you tackle the boxes.

Junk Removers:

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Junk-Removers-Credit-CanvaPro

You may find many things you want to eliminate, and going back and forth to the garbage depot may be too much. Consider hiring a junk removal company that can physically help with the larger pieces or deliver a dumpster that can be picked up later.

Storage Company:

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Storage Credit CanvaPro

Although this is never my preference, you may need to store items for the short term. Think of using a storage unit for a specific time (3, 6 or 12 months) as you transition from one home to another. A storage unit is also good to consider when you hope to travel and have no need for your furniture until your return. This is also a good option if you are staggig your home and need to store your valuables in another location.

Always consider a secure, well-ventilated, climate-controlled unit. You seek 24-hour surveillance (with cameras and/or personnel) and content insurance. Make sure you have someone check a couple of times if you are not in the vicinity.

Auction/Re-seller:

Auction Credit CanvaPro
Auction Credit CanvaPro

You may consider contacting an online auction company like MaxSold to cull your home. I’ve worked with a few professional organizers and know that working with these companies can help you downsize because they take the work out of listing individual items on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace. They can list the entire content of your house, photographed and auctioned off. They do the work, and you reap the rewards.

Physician:

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Physicians Credit CanvaPro

At this point in our lives, we must consider that the stress of making another major life change can be overwhelming. We need to keep on top of any health issues created by the stress of moving and changing. Consider the amount of physical activity you can do and ask yourself: who will help me begin downsizing and doing the heavy lifting?

Counselor/Spiritual Advisor:

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Spiritual Advisor Credit CanvaPro

The emotional impact of moving can be difficult. Perhaps you are leaving a long-term relationship (marriage), job or have lost a treasured parent. Maybe you are dealing with elder caregiving and need a sounding board for the trials and tribulations of seeing a senior deteriorate.

Don’t be afraid to seek counseling from a professional or a spiritual advisor. You can also find support groups or community services to help with these life transitions. That emotional support can be the difference in going forward or getting stuck.

Community Services:

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Community Services Credit CanvaPro

You may need help from various community services which help with assisted living facilities, or illness-specific organizations. I could not have survived these three years without the help of the Alzheimer’s Society here in London. They were instrumental in helping me with caregiver burnout. They also helped me find service for my mother. If you are currently providing caregiving to a senior, you can seek help at your local health unit.

Other Downsizing & Organizing Tips:

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Organize Credit CanvaPro
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Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for DownshiftingPRO.com and other online media outlets.

8 thoughts on “Who do I need to help me begin downsizing? 13+ Key people”

  1. This is a superb list, Margarita. Too often, people feel like their alone and in the weeds and can’t summon the mental power to imagine who can help them achieve their goals. I love all the resources you listed, and might suggest a few others:

    1) a good insurance agent to make sure you’re covered during all of your transitions and not carrying too much coverage once you’ve let things go.

    2) related to the downsizing and knowing what you have (for the right insurance coverage), having a good complete home inventory is something most people don’t think about until it’s too late. While some professional organizers or insurance agents provide these services, there are also apps and practitioners who can come in, photograph, and log your possessions so that you know what you have, one you can get rid of, and what you need to better insure.

    Great job!

    • With your permission Julie, I would love to add these two suggestions to my blog posts. I had no idea about taking the inventory but I did consider adding an insurance agent to the mix. Thanks for your valuable contribution.

  2. Downsizing one’s life can be an enormous undertaking. I love the suggestions you share for all the help options. Because while we can do this alone, we really shouldn’t. There is no reason to. The times I’ve had big projects (and even some small ones) and assembled a team to help, it was so much better.

    My mom had dementia. It was eight years of helping and caring for her, her life, home, transition to assisted living, medical emergencies, and more. Without a team to help, I don’t know what I would have done. There were different teams at different points. So when it was time to clear out and sell her home, that was one team. Once she was in assisted living, a new team was created. I am grateful for ALL of the help and people that gave their time, expertise, support, and love.

    A few another helpful downsizing/house selling team members were the junk luggers, contractor, piano mover, and stager. I also had some specialty people like the book, stamp, and record sellers that purchased some of my parents’ collections.

    • I know if which you speak Linda. My mother lives with us and we had to make arrangements for some of her furniture to come to us. We also had to get a contractor in to help with some ceiling repairs before we put the house on the market!

      I love the idea of adding ‘junk luggers’ to the list. I had not considered contractors but you are absolutely right about needing someone to make some upgrades, changes or fixes to a home before you sell it. I’d love to add your suggestion to my blog post.

    • All of this can be so very stressful and sometimes we don’t think about how this massive move will affect us physically or mentally. It is always good to have someone to help us navigate the emotional toll of life changes like these.

  3. Too many people make a quick decision to downsize and don’t give themselves enough time to plan. Using the 13 key people will make the downsizing successful will in the end be a much more enjoyable start in the new situation. People forget about all the new things to arrange once they have moved like a physician as you suggested. So they make the move and are overwhelmed by how much more there is to do.

    • I love your feedback and I agree that sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough time for this massive process. I have to admit, many don’t realize how beneficial it is to work with a professional organizer or a senior move manager to make this an easier transition.

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