Are your clients looking to sell their well loved, perfectly suited family-of-six home now that their youngest “child” has moved into her own apartment? Are your clients ready to buy a one-bedroom condominium after having lived in a 3-bedroom single-family home for the last 20 years? Is your client finally ready to take the plunge and move into an all-in-one-room loft or studio space?
If any of these scenarios apply to your client base, help your clients by helping them downsize to adapt to their new life style and housing choices.
Here are some ways for you to help your clients downsize:
- If at all possible, encourage your clients to begin their planning and paring down just as soon as they begin thinking about moving to a different home environment. Six months is considered to be the ideal amount of time but…realistically…who has six months? However much time your clients have to move, encourage them to not wait until the last minute.
- If they think their kids “might want something,” encourage them to give their kids a clear date by which they decide and take that thing they may want.
- If your clients don’t want to pay to store something that doesn’t fit into her/his new digs (a custom-made dining table that seats 20, an over-sized couch, etc.) encourage them to either auction, consign or donate that piece. Suggest to your clients that they both measure every room carefully and use a virtual online tool such as Roomstyler 3D, HomeByMe, etc. to configure items they are keeping into their new living spaces. Antiques and/or heirloom objects may be exceptions here.
- Downsize old electronics. Old laptops and desktops, cracked cell phones, micro-USB chargers, etc. all need to go. There are electronic recycling facilities and programs. Help your clients find those facilities/programs. Make sure your clients keep unique chargers or cables whose pair they can’t find…the twin might “show up” and/or the single could be used for a game console or old digital tool.
- Get rid of duplicates. Help them choose their favorite and donate the rest. Encourage your clients to reach out to homeless shelters, the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, or any number of non-profit that provide services and housing to adults and children in need.
- Encourage your clients to downsize kids’ clothing, toys and souvenirs. Only keep what fits, what is currently being used and souvenirs they cannot live without.
- Encourage your clients to take a VERY good look inside their own closets. If they haven’t worn an item in 6 months, they aren’t going to wear it in the next six months. Consignment shops, non-profits that provide adults with the basics and school theater programs would love to have and use those once used items.
- Throughout this entire process, encourage your clients to sort, sort, sort and see their things through a “does it bring me joy” lens. No joy, no keep. Sort everything into 3 piles…a pile to keep, a pile to donate and/or consign and a pile to toss. This sorting and does-it-bring-me-joy process applies to everything in their house and garage…kitchen items, garden tools, artwork, furnishings, books…everything.
- Suggest that your clients create an “Open First” box….a box filled with light bulbs, toiletries, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, bed sheets…things they’ll immediately need for their new home.