Moving Down

US Wealth Napolitano |

By: Jenn Kovalski 

It is no secret that the real estate market in Massachusetts (and much of the country) has been hot, hot, hot. Between Covid’s influence on folks departing the city for the ‘burbs, and people looking to create the ultimate stay-cation home, many of us are on the hunt for new digs.

After 40 years at their current home, my in-laws are looking to take advantage of the hot seller’s market and list the family home for sale. Obviously, it’s a difficult and emotional venture to leave such a familiar place where so many memories were made. Perhaps harder than electing to just move, is the decision to “downsize.” Moving is just taking all of your stuff from one place to another. Downsizing is recognizing you have to get rid of your stuff because your new, smaller place has no room for it.

The “kids” (all of us are in our 30’s) have been reporting to duty on the weekends to help organize, move and reshuffle the plethora of things one acquires after raising three kids and having both sets of in-laws live there at different points in time. Debates have been had over seemingly insignificant items whether they have any value, emotional or monetary. The general consensus here is that if you own it, it has value. If you are not the owner, it is easily decided that it can be donated.

I think the hardest part of downsizing is getting rid of items that once belonged to someone else, particularly a loved one. China, Hummels, and furniture all belonging to passed away family members have proven the toughest to part with, because they serve as reminders of memories and times gone by to the owner.

The other part of downsizing that’s proved challenging is deciding if you should get rid of the item, knowing you may need it in the future. Rakes, hammers, Christmas things, cleaning items, all come with a dispose of at your own risk warning.

Fortunately, we have found that donating items to charities like St. Vincent’s and The Salvation Army as well as even selling on Facebook have ensured these items new, happy homes where they will be loved, appreciated and maybe even become part of some other family’s story.

If you have any suggestions or advice on downsizing, or some wise rationalizations for the ‘keep or get rid of’ debate, please send them over, we could use them!