13 January 2020 7 min read

Article written by Belinda Woolrych - Downsizing Expert, Property Makeover Specialist, Author of ‘Rightsize Your Home’.

I urge people to become intentional. Set a date. “We’ll be eating the next Christmas dinner in our new home.”

Be grateful for this opportunity, it is a privilege to be able to start again somewhere new. 

And be wise in taking this next step. Surround yourself with loved ones. Other humans. And understand they are emotional beings just like you.

Here is a “how to” guide with 10-tips to help you deal with common psychological, emotional and logistical challenges that may arise.
Undoubtedly ... this is an upheaval. 

Feelings of sadness, guilt and despair are not uncommon, especially when the issue concerns parting with the place where some of your most cherished memories were formed.

But think positively. Think of rightsizing as a new chapter with exciting opportunities to start afresh - somewhere comfortable, somewhere appropriate to your stage in life.

1. Surround yourself with people to help

Effective change requires support from loved ones. Issues can arise but with the right people around solutions are close at hand.

2. Be informed and involved every step of the way

It’s imperative. Aim to make this an enjoyable experience. This will help you minimise any feelings of regret.

3. Look after yourself

Take time out through the entire process so that you do not fall in a heap. You want to be able to enjoy your new home and lifestyle when you arrive.

4. Be cognisant of the transition you will be going through

Familiarise yourself with The Emotional Cycle of Change. This is based on the theory by Dr Kubler-Ross and represents a range of emotions which present themselves in high-stress situations – including anger, denial, despair and acceptance.

Having to relocate to a new home can bring to light feelings of life and death. Talk things through with your person of trust. It is vital for you to express your feelings so they are acknowledged and discussed. 

I once had a client who was a nurse at different times in different parts of the world. She kept a shirt from each place of employment as a momento. I suggested that for downsizing purposes she kept the emblems from each shirt. She agreed and, in time, made a beautiful quilt featuring all these cherished memories. 

You will have accumulated a lot of memories and possessions in your home over the years. You may well have seen people come and go, parties, big occasions, fun and sad times. It is important to acknowledge and savour these memories. I highly recommend taking photos of any items you feel you are going to miss, or even a part of the home that elicits an emotion. We work with a photographer who creates beautiful memory books of family homes, it’s a lovely idea to savour memories.

5. Have an open discussion with your partner (if you have one) about moving

It is time to hear your loved one’s concerns and, ideally, for him or her to listen to yours.

6. Allow input and be ready to receive guidance.

Your team of confidantes are only trying to help. The transition may be difficult for everyone involved. It can be easy to feel pushed around. But your team might also be emotionally attached and be experiencing hard feelings associated with letting go.

7. Talk to people

Verbalise what you hope to achieve. The last thing you want to do is bottle it up and let your emotions run wild.  Yet, you’re better off to acknowledge them. Savour the memories that your old house gave you and see this as a chance to create new ones. Once the feelings of being “stuck” have shifted, and you believe in yourself, the project becomes a logistical process.

8. Understand your financial situation

You have already done the hard part - making the decision to rightsize. The logistical side of the process begins with acquiring this financial knowledge.

9. Seek strategic financial advice which is specifically relevant to this next stage of life.

Find an advisor who is fully qualified and has a deep understanding of the financial and legal landscape. Everyone needs this ... even if you think you don’t.

10. Start “doing” set tasks, complete them, and then start crossing them off

Seek professional help on all manner of things (including your own wellbeing if required). Moreover, it’s time to make measured and careful decisions on what things you want to keep, sell, give away or discard altogether.

Stockland commissioned the Author to compose this article for publication by Stockland for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the topic, and not to provide specific advice for your specific circumstances. Stockland recommends you seek independent legal and financial advice before making any decision. The views, information, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the Author, and are not necessarily held by Stockland.

Stockland has not contributed any of the information in the article and passes it on without endorsing or adopting its content. Stockland does not warrant or represent that the information in this article is free from errors or omissions or is suitable for your intended use. Subject to any terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, Stockland accepts no responsibility for any loss, damage, cost or expense (whether direct or indirect) incurred by you as a result of any error, omission or misrepresentation in information. Published January, 2020.