The Emotional Impact Of Downsizing

Most people don’t decide to downsize out of the blue. There’s usually a specific reason for it – a life transition like divorce, the kids have moved out, elderly people moving into assisted or independent living accommodations or the death of a spouse. Whatever the reason, the emotional impact of downsizing can take an emotional toll.

Sentimental value

Your home has sentimental value, beyond the bricks and mortar of the structure. You’ve created a warm, loving place for your family and filled it with things to enhance your lives. You’ve created warm, lasting memories that you don’t want to walk away from.

Emotional impact of downsizing

Downsizing means you have to part with possessions, some with significant importance – you associate the item with a memory. By getting rid of the item, you may feel like your memory will somehow fade. That won’t happen! The memories you’ve made in your home and with your belongings go with you because they are just that – memories. You don’t forget the significance of the item or event, you simply no longer have the physical reminder.

TIP: If you’re really attached, taking photographs of the items and creating a photo album might help with the sense of loss and it takes up far less space.

Sometimes a storage facility can alleviate the emotional toll. You’ll still own the items you can’t bear to part with just yet, but they won’t be cluttering up your new, smaller home. You can safely hang on to them until one day when you feel ready to let them go.

Downsizing will always be emotional. Closing a chapter in life, accepting a loss or having trouble parting with possessions or a home can be a difficult process.

Transition to freedom

But for most of you, the sense of freedom you’ll experience afterwards is priceless. Often people realize that although one chapter has closed, a new, exciting one is just beginning and they embrace it. When you have less material possessions you’re less encumbered by them and as a result, you’ll have more time to spend on other enjoyable pursuits.


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When you’re ready to make a move, call Ian Thompson Downsizing Expert with RE/MAX of Nanaimo direct at (250) 616-3641.