1. Trying to get every task in the process accomplished in one or two days (Mistakes people make when downsizing)
This is probably the most common, but also most disastrous mistake people make when trying to DIY downsize. It would easily take a certified senior move management company, with multiple seasoned technicians, at least two to three days to accomplish all aspects of most larger moves and they have done it hundreds of times before! If you are going the DIY route, here’s a nice rule of thumb: every 1,000 square feet of your home equals one month working on the downsizing process, so a 3,500 square foot home would take one or two people about three and a half months to complete. You can subtract 1 week anytime another person volunteers to help. Underestimating the time involved in the process are common mistakes people make when downsizing.
2. Underestimating the overall logistics of the downsizing process (Mistakes people make when downsizing)
There are an innumerable amount of numbers, dates, measurements, and statistics that must be carefully considered when downsizing. The average person will underestimate the amount of trash to be removed, how easy it will be to remove, and the cost associated with it. They will also find it hard to juggle all the new calls that must me made and services that must be booked in order to ensure a smooth transition to the new home. Failure to account for furniture dimensions in respect to the new home layout can leave the senior with an overcrowded and unsafe living space. Unless you are the most proactive control freak in the world, expect to divide the duties of each phase of the move (decluttering, pre-move planning, packing, and moving) among the individuals you have enlisted to help.
3. Overly pressuring or arguing with elderly parents or other family members (Mistakes people make when downsizing)
Most seniors view downsizing as a source of great anxiety. They are at a point in their lives where they are facing losses in their physical well being, the death of friends, and many other life altering changes that come with the next phase in life. The worst thing you can do is bully them or use high pressure tactics to get them to cooperate. You must use bargaining tactics, good listening skills, and carefully scheduled blocks of time with regularly planned breaks to keep them from reaching a breaking point too early or often. Start by picking a category like clothes and point out that not all the sizes will fit them anymore, hopefully prompting them to get rid of a large chunk of unnecessary items. Do the same for out of date food or worn out furniture. The best thing you can do to keep your relative cool, calm, and collected is let them feel like they are in charge of the process. The moment you take the feeling of control away they may break down, and mistakes people make when downsizing can be avoided by understanding the consequences.
4. Renting a dumpster without knowing the amount/type of trash coming out of the home (Mistakes people make when downsizing)
This one is simple but can be a huge headache and cost you money. Roll-off dumpsters come in many shapes and sizes that much is obvious to everyone. What is not obvious to everyone is that most dumpster companies prohibit certain items from being thrown in them and will charge you an arm and a limb for putting them in. These items often include paint cans, fuel cans, electronics, tires, mattresses, and box springs. Charges also apply to dumpsters that are overfilled and for change outs when you reach capacity. Some hoarding cleanup companies use box trucks to remove these items while separating them at the landfill.
5. Throwing things away without having items in the home appraised for value (mistakes people make when downsizing)
This often overlooked step doesn’t necessarily make the process any more or less effective, but it can lead to loss of money that could otherwise help in offsetting other costs associated with the move instead of mistakes people make when downsizing. Contact an estate sale company, auctioneer, picker, estate cleanout company,, or estate liquidator and schedule a time for them to come to the home and take a walkthrough. Point out items that you are taking out as trash or donations so they can give you an estimate of the potential value. This not only takes items off your plate that you would otherwise have to handle, it also provides a means of getting rid of items the senior may be reluctant to let go as trash, because they know the person who buys it will take care of it the same as they did. Most estate cleanout companies will charge anywhere from 15% – 50% commission on the items sold, but since you would have been tossing them anyway it’s really a win-win situation.
The following is a video of downsizing the back porch, shed, and yard at a home in Columbia, SC. For more informational videos like this, Subscribe to our YouTube channel HERE.
To find a senior move manager in the United States, who will help you avoid mistakes people make when downsizing, visit NASMM at https://www.nasmm.org/. To find a senior move manager in South Carolina, who will help you avoid critical mistakes people make when downsizing, visit https://www.palmettocommercialservices.com.