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How do I downsize?

This is a question with which most of us must deal at some point. In our society, we tend to buy larger houses as our family grows and fill those houses with “stuff.” In some cases, lots and lots of stuff.

Tim Golden, BrightStar Care

Often, we reach the pinnacle of our career and therefore maximize our house buying ability, at a time when our family starts to shrink. Kids are leaving home, but we usually want larger homes even when it might make more sense to go smaller. However, at some point, that big old house is no longer needed. Mom and/or dad might be coming to live with one of their children or moving into an apartment or an independent living or assisted living facility. So how do you go from, sometimes, 3,000+ square feet too, usually, less than 1,000? In that 3,000 square feet of space, you created your memories – you raised children, you entertained, you dined and played games with your family, you sat with your spouse in your favorite chairs and watched television. I’m not a big movie guy, but Hollywood even weighs in on the issue with their movie “Downsizing.” Unfortunately, the reality is not so simple as to shrink everything, so it all fits in less space. When we down-size, we have to make hard decisions. It won’t all fit, so we have to figure out what gets moved into the smaller space and what does not make the cut.

The task may seem daunting. There are some things you can do to at least get started. For example, there are likely to be pictures collected from decades of events – every birthday, anniversary, wedding, etc. Rather than taking album after album of pictures you might consider having those memories placed on a computer or some other digital format. That way you preserve the memories, but they take up less space. Books are another area where significant progress can be made with little effort. Many elderly have large numbers of books. Books take up lots of space and are very heavy and therefore difficult to move. Consider donating books to a local library or local senior center or senior living facility. There are also likely to be many family members that might like to have some of those things that won’t make the move so now is the time to consider gifting. If all this still seems a bit overwhelming, I have good news – help is available!

Given the rising numbers of people faced with the issue of downsizing; an entire industry has formed to help. There are companies whose sole purpose is to help seniors relocate and usually, down-sizing is a part of that relocation process. These companies will come alongside and help you organize and make the tough decisions. Then they will help get rid of whatever has not been gifted or thrown away or digitized. Whether by donation to someone like Goodwill or by an estate sale. Then they will help get what is left moved and set up in your new home. What could be easier? Some of the local companies with which I am familiar include “Move My Nest” and “Senior Transition Services, Inc.” and “Smooothe Move Senior Relocation Services, Inc.”. If you do decide to use a company to assist it would behoove you to make sure they are a member of NASMM (National Association of Senior Move Managers), an industry association that sets standards to which all members must adhere. Throughout the process remember that downsizing may be tough but getting a fresh start can also be a really good thing.

Tim Golden is the owner of BrightStar Care, Lawrenceville. You can reach Tim at (404)281-1537 or by emailing For more information please visit

Tim Golden
BrightStar Care

PO Box 634
Lawrenceville, GA 30046