Insights into what to do with your home contents when you are downsize and move
If you are downsizing or helping a loved one who has lived in their home for many years to transition, move, relocate or settling an estate, then you know how overwhelming this process can be. It can be extremely emotional. It can be physically demanding. It can be very time consuming. That’s just the start of it. Now the next challenge in downsizing is what to do with all of your home content? If you are moving from a larger home into a smaller more efficient home, then you will be faced with where do you put all your old stuff in your new setting? Naturally, you can’t physically put 40 years of your life’s possessions, complete with stuffed attics, basements, garages, and multiple bedrooms into a smaller home, active adult community, condo or senior care community. So now what? You may ask yourself questions like, can I sell my things? What are they worth? Will anyone want them? Will my grandchildren want anything?
This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into helping you with your home and downsizing by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in providing a one-stop solution for your full service real estate needs, marketing, home downsizing, content clean-out and removal and estate sales. We services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Did you know that downsizing and moving ranks as one of life’s most difficult events, along with loss of a spouse, divorce and job change?
When your needs change, your home may need to change with them.
Homeowners are constantly living through change. From empty nesters who just don’t need their large home anymore, to seniors moving into retirement facilities; downsizing can be a new and often overwhelming and humbling reality.
Nick Santoro says that….“Most of our clients are adult children in their 60’s who are working with elderly loved ones who are in their 80’s; who are downsizing from a big home where they raised their kids, into a condo, a senior care community, or moving in with a relative.” Nick points out that, “… we are often downsizing a family with a home from over 3,000 or more square feet to between 400 to 700 square feet, so a lot has to go.”
Joe Santoro, co-founder of Personal Property Managers says that the first place to start is the space you have in your new place. Joe encourages people to think about their current lifestyle, and in that respect, some items that have been accumulated will naturally eliminate themselves, based on usage or lack thereof.
Santoro points out that many downsizers choose not to keep a formal dining room set anymore; there’s just not enough room in the new space, so the big dining room table and hutch are often among the first big items to go.
Nick says, “the next step is deciding if any family members might want a dining room set or other household contents you no longer want and can no longer fit in your new home. If family doesn’t want it, you may be able to sell it.” However, Joe Santoro points out that the market is flooded with items like older more formal dining room sets, pool tables and pianos, so you won’t get as much value as when it was initially purchased. Joe points out that the style today is what is described as contemporary / transition furniture. It’s well made but less formal and much smaller in size. Personal Property Managers assists clients in helping them liquidate their home contents, to clean out their homes, sell their home / property at the best price and even move residents. This is accomplished through hosting an estate sale if the contents warrant it, or helping to liquidate it though its vast array of resources. It some cases, items may be donated. Personal Property Managers is a service disabled Veteran owned business, so it’s priorities are working with Veterans in need or veteran groups. Of course, some items must be disposed of.
Joe points out that people often make the mistake of thinking a charity is going to clean out their house for nothing and just take everything the owners no longer want. This is far from reality.
When it comes to selling items, Joe Santoro points out that people often have an over inflated opinion of the value of their contents. Just because you paid $2,000 for a sofa and love seat 10 years ago, you should be prepared to accept less than 10% of that today, and that depends upon its condition. Rips, tears, pet odors or smoking odors will totally eliminate any potential for items to be sold. Joe often starts off by asking people, “how much would you pay for a 12 year old couch?” Often the answer is “I wouldn’t.” Joe, points out that something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it at a given point in time.
Lastly, on this subject, Joe and Nick Santoro are often asked about moving items to storage units. While this is strictly a personal decision of the clients, often driven by emotion, the Santoro’s point out that the cost of a storage unit, kept over time, is often more costly than the actual contents are worth.
At Personal Property Managers, we understand the emotional toll downsizing and moving can take on our clients and their families. If you are moving from your home of many years into a senior care community or just relocating, our goal is to help you transition seamlessly to this exciting new chapter in life.
Nick Santoro says that of the many challenges of moving, downsizing is the most difficult. Nick says the reason for this is that you have to make decisions about every personal possession in your home. Personal Property Managers is at your side helping you every step of the way.
Santoro suggests viewing downsizing as a process. We suggest that you start with small goals, and plan on sorting for just a few hours at a time.
- Sorting through the easiest and obvious first. Choose a room where what needs to go or stay is the most obvious – like your bedroom or a room that’s rarely used.
- Using colored stickers, labels or Post-It notes to identify where items will go. More efficient than writing out a list, movers and family members can use the stickers as guidance on moving day.
- Assessing practicality and sentimentality. Items that are both practical and sentimental should move with you. Items that are neither should be left for family, sale or charity.
- Eliminating duplicate items or items that are the wrong size. Chances are, you only need three sets of towels, not six. If clothing doesn’t fit, don’t bring it with you.
Before the move, Santoro recommends creating a floor plan and determining the practicality of existing furniture. Nick says, “Don’t go out and buy new furniture. Instead, be open to using furniture in new ways.”
For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, and discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty.