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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Downsizing > Deciding to Downsize
by Susan Campbell, More Than Moving For Seniors

Many people today are considering downsizing and rightsizing their lives – generally people 55 and older, although some younger people are joining the movement. Adults who are 55 and older find themselves with large homes after their children have moved out or are living in a multi-level home that has become more difficult to manage.

What prompts someone to downsize or rightsize? Usually there has been a major shift in life or thinking. Children have left the home, health concerns make a larger home more difficult, finances have changed or a desire to live a simpler life. For most of our lives, we expect to expand our lives, having children, more lucrative work and a larger home. For many of us, we come to a time in our lives that we want to contract our lives and make them simpler. We want more time to enjoy what the life we have created – to spend time with children and grandchildren, to enjoy travel and hobbies, or just to putter about.

So we make the decision to downsize.

Some people downsize by limiting their lives – closing off or not using parts of the house, cutting back on maintenance, giving up some activities. It can be a decision by indecision.

If though, a person wants to rightsize his or her life, it has to be an active decision. And it takes work. But the reward is much greater and more freeing than making a passive decision.

Choosing to rightsize you life means taking a good, hard look at all aspects of your life to see what still fits and what isn’t needed. It’s choosing the life you want rather than continuing the life you have just because it seems easier or is always done that way.

Choosing to rightsize doesn’t mean that a person must move or give up working in a yard or change every aspect of his or her life. You can reshape your current home to fit a rightsized life or hire lawn care to free up time.

Choosing to rightsize may mean moving to a smaller and more manageable home, a maintenance-free home or condo. If your current home takes too much time or is difficult to manage, a move might make a positive difference.

What is important is the decision followed by the action. Whether you stay in your current home or choose to move, make a decision about it. People are happier when they have control of their lives and make positive choices. Look at your life and decide if it fits. Then look toward your future and see if a rightsizing change is on the horizon. And having made the decision, start on the action of rightsizing!

Susan Campbell operates More Than Moving For Seniors, a locally-owned Richmond, Virginia business specializing in helping seniors and their families with the sometimes overwhelming process of downsizing and moving. Their services are available to anyone who needs help with moving, organizing, and de-cluttering, including empty-nesters, people combining households, busy professionals, newlyweds, those with disabilities and families who've lost a loved one. The business is a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), and Susan is a past president and currently serves on the board. She is committed to establishing and maintaining standards in the senior move management industry.

Copyright 2010, Susan Campbell