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Tips for Downsizing

by Leighton, Kelly on

Every client has their reason for downsizing.

Whether there are fewer people residing in the home or they are just ready for less space, downsizing is a great option. However, there is the elephant – or elephants – in the room. How do you go through all of the stuff that has accumulated in a home? Whether it’s been one year or 50 years, going through belongings that have collected can be a daunting task. Where to start?

Court Ebeling of Carter’s Home Downsizing and Resale Specialists, LLC has a few tips and tricks after more than a decade in the downsizing business. “Don’t expect to get everything done in one day,” he said. Ebeling advised going from room to room and to start a list of things you absolutely cannot live without. Those items will move with you to your next residence. If you are giving away items to family or friends, set a hard deadline for pickup. For many adult children, their parents’ home has become their storage unit. Set a date for when they have to pick up their belongings and and stick to it.

Then, it’s time to go through the rest of your belongings and determine what to sell, donate and keep. Ebeling said to first get rid of anything that is not useful to anyone anymore, whether it is broken, stained or torn, a donation center will not accept it and/or it has no value. While it may be difficult to get rid of a dining room set that once cost thousands of dollars and now a thrift store won’t even take it, Ebeling said, “It’s an economic supply and demand. Most things, like clothing, furniture and knickknacks are worth almost nothing after time is passed. Trends come and go.”

Ebeling advised getting a professional to appraise anything that may be worth money, but for the most part, selling belongings from a downsizing is usually not a cash cow. Old electronics can be recycled.

“People obviously get upset seeing their life go into a dumpster,” he added. “We are trying to let go of things they have loved or enjoyed for many years. But it is time to simplify their lives. We are helping them by making their job easier for Realtors® to get the house better prepared for the market. When buyers come in, they don’t see all the clutter.  The house looks bigger, brighter and the process moves that much faster.”


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