Easy does it!

June 06, 2016

Deciding to conduct a household transition sale is not an easy decision on a number of levels.  We have found that the downsizing sale is the hardest as our clients try very hard to fit a square peg in a round hole  as they try to put 3,000 square feet of their collection into about half that size!

We have some suggestions that we’ve learned in working with our downsizing clients:

  • Collect memories.  We always say, “never sell your memories.”  As you start deciding what to take, first look for items that have meaning.  Go through your house and pull all the various mementos you have collected over the years.   Place the small items in one room, which will help you determine how much you have gathered.  For the larger items, make a list of their measurements.  Re-visit your new space with the list of measurements and take notes about where the larger pieces can fit.  As you go back to the room and look at your list of larger items, you’ll get a more realistic view of what you can and cannot take.
  • Essentials.  Next, go through the house and think about what you must have for the next chapter in your life.  Of course, this task goes beyond the obvious of clothes and the like.  But, even then, you may not need all the clothes you’ve kept. Place a small colored  sticker on your essential items.
  • The One Year Rule.  Starting with the essentials, go through the room and consider one idea:  have I touched it in a year?  In some cases, we’ll ask our clients if they remember they even had it!  I think you know the answer if the item doesn’t pass this rule.  But, of course, don’t throw anything away.  (At Next Chapter, we suggest our clients place items into the sale, and then we’ll eventually throw it away or give it away.)
  • Nothing Ventured.  You know how the saying goes.  It ends with “nothing gained.”  Don’t be concerned about whether it will sell or not.  Our  Next Chapter team tells our clients to let us decide.  Your only decision is whether it passes the One Year Rule, is essential, or is a memory you must keep.
  • Walk away.  Now that you collected the mementos and the essentials, walk away and don’t look back.  We tell our clients at Next Chapter to hand us the keys and leave and we’ll do the rest.  But, we also remind our clients that if we see anything we think they may have missed that we’ll put it aside.

Some things are just trash, but we tell our clients to let us make that decision.  We never can predict what will sell, and are often surprised.  Don’t spend one minute wondering if it will sell and for how much.   Only spend your time wondering if you want it or need it.