Stress management for downsizing can be hard to come by. There’s no question about that. You’re fighting a war with yourself between the emotional connection you have to your home and belongings, against the practical need for owning less stuff and moving into a smaller home. Whatever reason you have for downsizing, here are a few ideas for how to manage the stress of downsizing.
- REMEMBER WHY YOU ARE DOING IT. Keep your practical reasons front of mind when you’re going through your belongings rather than the emotional ones. Try to remember you’re starting a new chapter in your life so it’s the perfect time to re-invent your lifestyle. Remind yourself of this often.
- GET ORGANIZED. Start by putting items into categories like “keep”, “sell” or “donate”. Once you determine what you are getting rid of, you can take the next steps to achieve this. If it’s valuable, get it appraised to see what you may be able to sell it for, or check with local charities to see what they will accept.
- FIGURE OUT IF YOU CAN MAKE SOME MONEY FROM IT. Try selling on Craigslist or Kijiji or similar type websites or have a yard/garage sale. If you still can’t get rid of things, see if you have family members who’d love to have a certain piece of furniture or household item? Put the word out that you’re downsizing and see who comes calling.
- STAY POSITIVE. Even though the downsizing may be necessary because of something out of your control, you can still control how you view it. Look at it as a new opportunity for the future and a way to improve your perspective. Staying upbeat as much as possible will reduce the amount of fear and stress that can come about during this difficult transition.
- LET FAMILY AND FRIENDS HELP YOU. Don’t be shy about expressing yourself or asking for help. More hands make less work, so the workload won’t land completely and squarely on your shoulders. If you’re worried or scared about the downsizing, let the people helping you know your concerns. They’ll be able to work with you to lessen the stress you’re feeling and you won’t feel like you’re alone. Support is important during a transition, so make sure you have a good network around you.
Downsizing is about keeping the items that represent you now, not who you used to be. If you keep this in mind, and use the tips above, your stress will be reduced and the move won’t be nearly as hard.