First of all, having lived in New England most of my life and having owned William C Huff White Glove Moving and Storage for over 30 years, “downsizing in New England” is, well, a bit of an “oxy-moron” term. If you have spent any amount of time in New England, one thing you learn is that “everything has value”. This means that any ting you have ever bought has got to be needed, eventually. So, New Englanders are the worst at “downsizing”.
This being said, here are some tips that might help you with your downsizing.
- WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT
This is the first rule of downsizing. As you go from room to room in your home, if you have to think about whether or not to keep something than that means you can live without it.
- WORK IN CONCENTRIC CIRCLES
A number of years ago, when I was explaining to a friend, who happened to be a writer for the Wall Street Journal, that the most important things to homeowners are always in the main living spaces. And, the least important things would be in the closets, attic, basement and sheds. By tackling this areas first, time is best spent to sort through those items that really have the least significance. Working concentrically towards the living areas of the house, the homeowner can eliminate a lot of “back-tracking” in their downsizing efforts.
- FAMILY INTERVENTION
Always start downsizing early enough to get the family involved. Most new Englanders save a lot of stuff for the “kids”. Now full grown adults, these “kids” need to let you know whether or not they care to keep the stuff you have saved for 30 years. There is no sense dragging these items to the new, downsized, home.
- DO NOT DO A YARD SALE !!!!!!!
I have no idea what the fascination is with having a yard sale is but, they are extremely time-consuming and there is very little reward, if any, on the money side. However, I would say more than 50 % of downsizing New Englanders insist on having yard sales. I witnessed one older New England couple struggle for 5 weeks with an on-going yard sale that they would get .25 for something…meanwhile, I was trying to get them to pay attention to the $2500 Lladro figurines they had in the living room and how I was going to secure the packing for the trip to Florida.
- CALL A CHARITY
Non-profits are a great place to get rid of things. Often they will pick up used furniture and, even give a tax receipt for the items. And, consignments really should not be a consideration. With all the downsizing Boomers, both consignment and non-profits are packed solid with items that most people don’t want. The las thing you need is to have to worry if the consignment shop will treat you fairly.