Why Downsizing is The Most Stressful Life Event
Age, health, and uncertainty is causing close to 100 million Americans to consider a lifestyle downsize. Up until just a few years ago, most Americans took a more casual look at the implications of needing to downsize their homes and lifestyles. The “perfect storm” of the economy, world events and uncertainty has come to fruition now, and many of these 100 million people are scrambling to find reliable service providers who can help them achieve their goals of downsizing.For over 30 years, the William C Huff White Glove Moving and Storage Company has been helping families during one of the most stressful life events: moving. According to the National Association of Realtors, the process of moving from one home to another is ranked as the third most stressful life event for Americans. The top two are death and divorce, while losing a job ranks fourth. Not coincidentally, the first, second and fourth most stressful life events all can often result in the third most stressful life event - Moving! Throw in age, health and uncertainty and downsizing becomes the absolute MOST STRESSFUL LIFE EVENT.
The William C Huff White Glove Moving and Storage Company began publicly speaking on the phenomenon of downsizing ten years ago. With close to 25 years of upsizing, we realized that downsizing was much, much more stressful than upsizing. Here are three main reasons why downsizing is the most stressful life event for homeowners:
1) Nostalgia - It is impossible to describe the emotions one goes through when they are faced with sorting through years and years of memories. My wife and I still have a wooden kitchen table I made when we were first married, 34 years ago. Very simple in design and covered with “graffiti” from years of our children’s doodling and homework assignments, this is one of our most cherished memories of our lives. At some point, not too far away, we will need to part with this. Words will not be able to describe the emotions we will go through when that day comes.
2) The End Game - Whether it is age, health, or the fear of uncertainty, making the decision to downsize is an admittance that there is an end to a phase of life that one has been so comfortable with. A few years ago, I had only had experiences with homeowners who were facing age and health issues. However, the uncertainty of how the world is changing is now a major contributor to why families are considering downsizing. I can see it in the eyes of those young families who choose to not stay in their current homes, for fear they could lose it all. I would never have imagined that uncertainty would be added to the list of life’s most stressful events.
3) Unreliable Service Providers - When families and homeowners are faced with one of the most stressful life events, the last thing they want is to be taken advantage of by uncaring, opportunistic service providers. With so many people having to make momentous decisions at the same time, many homeowners will be taken advantage of by estate sale companies, cable companies, and moving and storage companies, just to name a few providers. Poor and unreliable services, inflated pricing and predatory practices are unfortunately more of the norm than not. With social media being so deceptive and with a major breakdown in human interaction over the past few years, homeowners who are facing this most stressful life event can easily be taken advantage of.
Over the last seven years, the William C Huff Company has developed many relationships with businesses who can help homeowners navigate downsizing and make one of the “most stressful life events” less stressful. Certified national appraisers, nonprofits, home organizers, and recycling firms are just some of the companies our firm has worked with in an effort to make homeowners experiencing a downsize, lives less stressful.The William C Huff Company has very experienced, tenured, and professionally trained staff who know how to make downsizing less stressful. There is no substitute for experience when homeowners are dealing with their most stressful life events; a downsizing move.