“Bigger is better” may be the motto of many house hunters, but a sizable number of people want to downsize with their next home purchase.
With a smaller house comes less space, and culling all the “stuff” is a big challenge. This is often particularly true for empty nesters and seniors, who have a lifetime of possessions from themselves and even kids. Who wants to throw out precious memories?
But getting rid of a lot of the stuff is the reality for downsizing, and there’s professional help available to categorize, sort, and help people deal with emotional ties to possessions.
Brooke Evans is just that person, working with seniors moving into assisted living, as well as people of all ages looking to live in a smaller footprint. She is the managing director of Senior Focused Relocations, a Dallas-based company that has done around 2,500 moves since it opened in 2005.
“We help seniors with the downsizing and organization process, thinking through going from their house they’ve often been in for 30 or 40 years, to something smaller,” Evans said. “We call is ‘right-sizing,’ which means adjusting to the space requirements they’ll have, what fits the frame of life they’re actually in. Most people aren’t using the majority of their house.”
While her expertise is with seniors, the advice and understanding she offers works for anyone looking to downsize and plan out the new space. Evans talks about not being owned by one’s possessions, figuring out priorities, and embracing living in a smaller home with fewer possessions. She calls it liberating.
“There is a movement toward more of a minimalist approach and a lot of people are embracing the idea of moving [into smaller homes],” she said. “We are interested in figuring out what to cull, what items brings joy—there’s no one-size-fits-all for getting rid of your items. It’s a process.”