Downsizing Hurdles – Doing it alone

The downsizing process is hard, but it can be even more difficult when you are trying to do it alone. If you are a single person household or the only person involved in the process, trying to sort through all the possessions and make decisions by yourself can become a real hurdle. It can be stressful emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Although the steps and decisions along the way are yours to make, there are ways others can be of assistance. Knowing the kind of help you need can guide you to ask the right person for the job. It can also assist in finding the right job for the friend or family member who offers to help.

Emotional – Listening ear and sounding board – A companion through the process can be comforting and helpful. Having someone to share your thoughts with can provide clarity and encourage decision-making. When you explain your thought process it helps you see things more clearly. Be thoughtful in picking who you get to help with this aspect of your downsizing process. This support person doesn’t need to decide for you or share their thoughts, they just need to be willing to listen, encourage, and ask good questions.

Mental – Knowledge and accountability – A helper who can keep you on track and is familiar with available resources is an enormous help. There is so much to do. An accountability partner can see the whole picture, keep you moving forward, and make sure no part is overlooked. Someone who has been through downsizing before is especially valuable as they can share their know-how and the resources they used.

Physical – Hands-on and transport – An extra set of hands makes a big difference because the downsizing process can be physically demanding. Ask someone to help you pull out stored boxes to be sorted, rearrange or pack the things you are keeping, or run the outgoing items to their destinations.

You don’t have to do it alone. Be willing to accept assistance when it is offered. Look around for friends and family who can help. Remember that there are also professionals called “Senior Move Managers” (SMM) like myself, who are trained to help with the downsizing process. If you are located outside the Portland area, check out the National Association of Senior Move Managers,, for a SMM in your area.
© 2021 Beth Giles    

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