When you hit your 50s or 60s, downsizing makes perfect sense. It brings a lot more savings on home maintenance, giving your retirement fund a boost. It frees you from the duty of cleaning unused rooms. It just makes life a lot simpler. But what’s financially and practically sensible isn’t always emotionally easy. If you’ve lived in your big home all your life, the decision to relocate can trigger a lot of emotions. Often, unpleasant ones. You find yourself struggling to transition and move forward. The key to dealing with this tough decision is to know what to expect. To anticipate the emotions you’ll feel. When they hit you hard, you have a ready response. Often, people downsizing go through these feelings:
There are many reasons you’ll feel this way. For one, you may not feel like moving at all. Maybe it’s the financial problem or your spouse’s health problem that’s forcing you to relocate, and you feel like you have no say in this situation. That sense of helplessness can trigger grief. Another reason is that you have so much emotional attachment to your home that you feel like you’re abandoning an important part of your life. It’s quite the same grief you feel when you lose someone. And then of course, there’s also the fact that you have to say goodbye to your neighbors, friends you’ve long known. How do you cope with grief? One, acknowledge it. When you recognize your feelings, it becomes more bearable to accept the reality of moving. Two, connect with people. Isolation will only bring out the worst in grief. Don’t sever your relationship with friends. Maintain communication online. At the same time, find new social circles in your next community. Join the neighborhood watch or involve yourself in a social cause.<
At any stage of life, moving brings a lot of tension. There are many stuff to sort through and pack in boxes, so many papers to sign, and so many deadlines to meet. Unfortunately, your energy, memory, and organization skills aren’t as good as when you were in your teens. You’ll probably hit some booboos here and there, which adds to the whole stressful fiasco. In the end, you’re wide-eyed, overwhelmed. The key to tackling this emotion is to get as much help as you can. Ask your adult children to help you declutter and pack things. Get in touch with moving companies in Broward County for the transportation of your stuff. As for the going-away party, ask some of your neighbors’ help. For sure, they’ll be more than willing to organize things for you.
This feeling comes from the reality of going into the unknown. You’re not certain if you’ll like the new place or how you will live your life moving forward or whether or not you’ll get along with your neighbors. Some level of anxiety then is understandable. You may also feel worried if the possessions you’ll give away will be well taken care of, or you may not be comfortable with the idea of giving away in the first place. If you experienced economic turmoils in the past, you may find yourself clinging to stuff because of fear of being in lack later on. How do you deal with such kinds of anxiety? Ease the discomfort by passing your belongings to people you trust. People who have proven themselves to be loyal to you. You could also give it to charity. There’s a sense of fulfillment when you do something out of good will. As for the anxiety over the next chapter in your life, here’s the thing, you managed to get through the uncertainties of life for 40, 50 years. Trust your gut, you’ll be okay in the next.
It’s perfectly normal to feel like you’re in an emotional roller coaster when downsizing. But it’s possible to keep calm, be excited about it, even. You just have to learn to manage your emotions.