As a home move specialist, over the years we have helped numerous people in all sorts of circumstances move house. Moving people from flats to houses, houses to mansions and back down the square footage scale. We feel like we’ve seen it all, or certainly experienced the majority of obstacles that moving home can throw at you.
Having helped so many people move, you can’t help but notice the trends. There tends to be a few recurring and underlying reasons why people find moving so overwhelming and in particular, downsizing. It’s human nature to put off things that you don’t want to do, but sometimes it can really add to the stress of a situation; especially if you procrastinate until the very last, critical moment.
The Magic Number 40
This number keeps popping up and has in fact, enabled me to identify four clear categories that most of my clients fall into – especially when it comes to downsizing. The good news is a ‘category isn’t for life’ – no matter which category you consider yourself, there are strategies and techniques that can help make all the issues you are facing, much more manageable and will actually empower you to take back control.
So, which category do you fall into? Do any of these sound familiar?
- 40 years of clutter
“We moved when our children were small. Now they’ve got small children of their own and not only have we got all their stuff, we’ve got all the stuff we inherited from our parents and all of ours. I walk into a room, or open a drawer, and think I just can’t face this, and shut it again. I know I need to do it, but I just can’t start – I feel completely overwhelmed and can’t even face talking about it, which makes me feel embarrassed and even more stressed.”
- 40 years of memories
“I think I’ve kept everything since we moved in – from the children’s christening gowns to every piece of artwork the grandchildren have given me. I can’t bear to throw anything out as everything is special. Every inch of the house and garden has a memory; I’ve got hundreds of photos, each full of love and laughter, and they keep me going and I feel secure here. How can I possibly move house – I could never chose what not to keep, so I don’t and I stay where I am.”
- I’m 40 years older than when I last moved
“I’m recently widowed, and while it’s hard work, I’ve managed to look after the house and garden on my own. However, it is just become a bit much and I think I’d like to live somewhere a little less demanding. I live a long way from the kids but they’ve got their own lives and while I know they’d want to help me, I don’t want to be a burden. When I last moved, my husband and I did everything together. What am I going to do with all my furniture? What will fit in my new home? Where am I going to move to? How do I stop the utilities and broadband? How am I going to do it on my own?”
- I’m 40 years too young to move, I’m just not ready
“I look at my friends in their retirement homes or retirement complexes and while I can understand why they’ve made the move – I’m just not ‘old’ yet. We still use the house and garden extensively and will do forever. But… I do realise that one day one of us might be on our own so we should start planning for the day when it is too much for one of us, but not yet – as I said I’m just not that old yet.”
Do any of these stories sound familiar? Maybe they reflect your situation or maybe you’ve had similar conversations with your parents. If you are in a place where you feel you need a change but don’t necessarily know what to do next, send us an email or call us on 01483 255 895 to arrange a conversation. We’ll guarantee to give you THREE things to focus on and strategies to help you.
Photo credit: Wassana Mathipikhao