Overcoming the Emotional Hurdles of Downsizing Your Home

Posted on 05 August, 2016 in Moving Home

Downsizing from your home to an apartment is a big deal. Whether you are an empty-nester who no longer needs the extra space, a senior moving into a nursing home or assisted living apartment, or are moving to a more expensive city and can't afford a house, being forced to part with the bulk of your possessions can create a lot of emotional turmoil. The best way to combat this is to have a plan for how you will tackle the downsizing process. Here are some of our favourite tips for downsizing your home to help you handle some of the most common emotional struggles that arise in this situation.

Loss of Sentimental Items

If you're like most people, then you have probably built up an attachment to your possessions over the years. Being forced to part with these items when moving into a smaller home can seem devastating at first. However, it is important to remember that these items are not your memories; they are just things. Your memories will live on in your mind, even without every single keepsake.

Do your best to condense your treasures as much as possible. For example, if you have boxes and boxes of photos, convert them to digital copies that don't take up physical space. If you have several items that remind you of the same event or person, choose just one that is the most important to you. For furniture or other large items that you can't take with you, take photos to remember them by.

Giving Away Your Family Heirlooms

In trying to pass along your family keepsakes to your children or grandchildren, it can feel extremely hurtful if they do not want these items. Try not to take it personally. Everyone has their own personal style and tastes, and your heirlooms may not fit in with theirs. Also, some people are not as sentimental as others and don't see the value in your great-grandfather's watch the way you do.

Although it may be difficult at first, consider the possibility of selling any items that cannot be passed down. You may find that some of your old possessions are worth more than you thought, and the extra money can go a long way towards helping you get set up in your new life and covering the costs of the move.

Difficulty Leaving Your Family Home

If you have lived in the same home for many years, it can be difficult to say goodbye, especially if it was where you watched your children or grandchildren grow up. It may seem as though every corner of the house has a special memory attached to it, and that can be hard to walk away from.

Leaving your home, combined with leaving many of your belongings, can make you feel less whole, like a part of you is missing. Keep in mind that, while it may be the end of an era in your life, it is also the beginning of a new one in which you will create all kinds of new memories. Your old memories will always be in your heart for you to cherish.

Change Is Scary

Heading into the unknown always comes with its own host of stresses and insecurities, and moving is no different. Planning ahead can help to minimise the uncertainty. Start thinking about what your new life will look like. What sights are you excited to see in your new city? Where will you meet your new friends? How will you decorate your new apartment? Visualise what your new life will look like, either in your mind or on a vision or Pinterest board to help yourself get excited about this new chapter in your life.

Once you have packed everything up and are ready to go, don't forget to take some time to congratulate yourself on a job well done. Uprooting your life is not an easy process, and you deserve some recognition for that. Once you have settled into your new life, treat yourself to a massage or a nice dinner out to reward yourself for taking this big step forward.

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