Intentional living at 60plus - Downsizing

Downsizing – 9 Questions to make the move easier.

Why can it be so hard to get a house ready for downsizing?

There are many reasons – these three are the most relevant for most people:

1. – Downsizing is a major life change.

When we decide to downsize, we are not just changing our physical location.

We are also leaving behind a larger home that holds memories of our past and present lives. The smaller space we move into will initially be unfamiliar – and it will shape our future.

Downsizing is, in essence, a significant life transition.

Many of us tend to resist significant changes in our lives, and that’s quite understandable since we are human beings.

The brain’s primary function is to ensure our survival and well-being, which means it tries to keep us away from potential risks or dangers.

This explains why we might feel uneasy or fearful when faced with impending changes, whether they are unwanted or unexpected or even desired and planned.

2. – Downsizing is a lot of work.

Downsizing is a major undertaking that requires significant physical, mental, and emotional effort and can be quite time-consuming and energy-consuming.

Our brain not only strives to keep us safe but also tries to conserve energy and pursue pleasure.

This is why it’s normal to experience feelings of resistance, confusion, anxiety, stress, or overwhelm when we begin planning for the move.

However, these so-called ‘negative’ emotions are just a normal part of being human, and they should not be viewed as a problem or obstacle.

We can still achieve our goals without feeling positive and excited all the time.

3. – Downsizing requires decluttering (= saying goodbye).

When we decide to downsize, we are essentially moving from a larger place to a smaller one.

This means that we cannot take everything we currently own with us and must say goodbye to many of our belongings that we have accumulated over the years.

It can be emotionally challenging to let go of items that have been with us for a long time. We must make many decisions about what to take along and what to leave behind.

Decision-making can be mentally demanding, and it is important to view decluttering as an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, our values, and our priorities.

By doing this, we can define the decluttering (and the downsizing) process not just as a necessary task but also as a chance for personal growth.

How can we make it easier to get ready for the downsizing move?

Yes, downsizing can be a daunting process, but it becomes much easier if we take the time to prepare properly and approach it step by step.

Starting the preparation as early as possible can help us avoid rushing and feeling overwhelmed.

The success of the downsizing project depends on our mindset and actions.

    • We need curiosity to become more self-aware,
    • courage to make tough decisions,
    • and determination to take action even if we don’t feel like it.

Ask yourself these questions – and your answers will help you get started:

    1. What will be the major topic (purpose) of my future life? If my life were a book, what would the title of the current chapter be? What would be the header for the future chapter of my life? For example, the current chapter title is ‘Taking care of the family and the family home/story’; for the next chapter, I chose the heading ‘Exploring the world and myself.’
    2. What are my current thoughts and feelings about the move? What are the reasons why my future life in the new place will be good? How can I feel grateful for all the years I spent in my current place while also opening my mind and heart to my new home?
    3. What are my thoughts and feelings about the area I will move to? How can I start to familiarise myself with my new surroundings?
    4. What is my current lifestyle? Do I plan to change my lifestyle after the move? What will my daily life look like in the new place? What will be the same, and what will be different?
    5. What makes me feel at home? What do I need to feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed at home? What do I like about my current home, and how can I bring those things into the new place?
    6. How much space will I have in future? What percentage of space will I have in my future home compared to what I have now? For example, if the new home offers 40% of the current space, I will not fit 100% of my current stuff into it, nor 80% or 60%.
    7. What furniture, appliances, and devices do I currently use every day? What have I not used for a long time? Which of the currently used pieces will fit into the new place?
    8. What areas in my current home, or categories of belongings, contain a lot of stuff that I no longer need or use? For example, forgotten storage areas in the basement, attic, or garage, or certain ‘overcrowded’ categories like clothes, books, and paperwork (*). Can I start with a quick round of decluttering right now?
    9. How can I practice the powerful decluttering question, ‘Does it serve me? – Do I need, use, or love it?’ I want to be brutally honest, and if the answer is ‘no’ three times, it has to go!

(*) An overabundance of physical and digital paperwork – accumulated over a lifetime – can make the move more difficult than necessary. 

What’s your relationship with your paperwork?

I compiled a set of 7 questions that will help you gain clarity.

You can download them here: