Rightsizing Your Senior Move

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Downsizing your family home? Not looking forward to the idea of deciding what to keep, toss, donate or sell? We know how stressful moving can be, especially when downsizing a lifetime!

Rightsizing Your Senior Move is important when facing this overwhelming task!


If you yourself are not planning to downsize and move, but you’ve found this blog post, you are probably looking for support for someone you love or someone you are working with.

Whether it be for mom and/or dad or a client, you know it’s nothing short of overwhelming.


Organized Haven | Organizing and Decluttering Services | Central Florida


It’s common to feel stuck and not know where to begin when you are overwhelmed by the need to sort and downsize a lifetime of collections!

The best way to get unstuck and make progress on your goals in Rightsizing Your Senior Move is to sort everything into categories and edit each based on the things you love, use and can’t live without!


But that is not all that is important to consider and learn about when facing a transition such as this…

All to consider to rightsize your senior move


We discussed all of this and more in January 2022 with our first webinar and you can watch it on-demand here, or keep reading below:




You might be feeling overwhelmed because you have multiple categories of things to sort through and making decisions on.

Usually, these categories of items are split up and mixed amongst other categories all throughout the house.

It makes you feel like you have this massive project on your hands with no end in sight.

The key is to start small and start early!

We find clothing to be at or near the top of the list for most of our clients, in terms of what is most overwhelming to downsize.

They also struggle with downsizing a large amount of kitchenware, décor, paperwork, and pictures, among other things.


It is a time-consuming process to make decisions on each of these categories when you are an older adult that has collected a lifetime of things!

Letting go is really difficult as we touch and decide on the things we own.

Sometimes, we can feel like these things actually own us – they’ve got such a pull on our heartstrings.


Decision-Making in Letting Go of Stuff | Organized Haven


This is why the first go at decision making requires an additional assessment later, because the KEEP pile tends to be the largest.

Now, if you are downsizing, the keep pile might need to be the SMALLEST!

Remember as you go through this process that it is okay to review your keep pile again.

I can almost guarantee you’ll ask yourself with some things,What was I thinking?,” and you’ll move them to the donate pile.

Give yourself permission for this to take time – even multiple times, until you feel confident that you are Rightsizing Your Senior Move!

Want to make the best decisions when downsizing or rightsizing THE FIRST time?

Ask yourself these tough, but realistic questions:

  1. Does it fit me?
  2. Does it still fit the lifestyle I am currently living?
  3. Have I worn this or used it in the last 6-12 months?
  4. Do I have to keep the entire 12-persn dish set? 

It is essential to be honest with yourself in this process and give yourself permission to control the best use of your space!

You’d be surprised how much this process helps to remove the guilt and overwhelm of letting go.

Read more about The Barriers to Letting Go of Stuff.



Everyone knows moving is one of the most stressful things a person can do in their lifetime!

What we find to be the biggest cause of a stressful move is being UNPREPARED!

It is REALLY EASY to get behind and for move day to creep up quickly.

What to Think About When Packing for a Senior Move | Organized Haven


It takes TIME, PATIENCE, and ORGANIZATION to put off a successful move in which the stress can be behind you after you move.

The BEST THING you can do is to MAKE A PLAN.

Sorting one area or category at a time and making good discarding decisions is only one small piece of the puzzle.

One of the BEST WAYS to make those good downsizing decisions is to make a space plan.

Afterall, what sense does it make to pack and move goods you don’t have room for where you are moving?

That is a recipe for a really stressful move!



Ultimately, what you are trying to avoid is taking too much with you when you move!

Space Planning Benefits When Downsizing | Organized Haven


Instead, you want to take just what you need and still use –

There is nothing worse than going through the trouble and expense of moving things you don’t need or use and realizing you should have started with a plan that was realistic and well-though-out!


What is a space plan? | Organized Haven


Of course, your method of space planning does not have to be as extravagant as this one.

All you need to draw a space plan is some grid paper from Staples (or online), a clip board, a pencil, a 25′ measuring tape, and a helper!

You’ll want to focus on measuring the FURNITURE at your current home.

Specifically, the pieces you ADORE and that are USEFUL!

Measure Width x Depth x Height.

Write down your measurements on a sheet of paper AND add a sticker/post-it/painter’s tape to the piece of furniture.

You’ll want to focus on measuring the ROOMS and WALLS at your new home.

Imagine the best places for your furniture as you will need to draw it out after your have your measurements.

Don’t forget to think also about the storage space you have for clothing, kitchen goods, bathroom essentials and artwork!

There’s nothing worse than not being able to unpack and put away everything that you packed because there isn’t enough room for it all!



By this point of the process, you will have decided what you are keeping, and I imagine you know where it will live in your new home.

On move day, your movers need to know where the boxes will go.

Do yourself and them a favor and write the room name for where the contents will be unpacked and put away.


How to Label Your Boxes When Moving | Organized Haven


Write this label on the top of the box and at least one side.

Instruct your movers to keep these labels visible as they are entering the new space, so they don’t waste time asking or looking a box at a time.

Also include detail for what is inside each box.

When you are looking for something specific, like the coffee pot in the kitchen, or the toilet paper for the bathroom, you’ll be glad you did!

Those are the types of items we label as a category A – they are essential and should take priority to unpack first.



Be as specific as you can to ensure the least amount of move day chaos possible!

This is the time to be detail-oriented for the least overwhelm on everyone’s part.



As you downsize, you may find that you have 30% – 70% of your life’s collections to find new homes for.

If you are like most, you’ll want to balance out the costs of your move by selling some of these things.

Selling your items doesn’t have to be a nightmare, or time-consuming.

We partner with an online auction house, MaxSold, to help our clients get the most value out of their estate.

In this way, you can sell everyday household goods to local buyers and clear your home within 2 weeks in most cases.

An average of 98% sells and is picked up locally on one, organized day.

This is one of the many reasons why we recommend MaxSold over other options and have been partnered for over seven years.

MaxSold vs. traditional household content sales methods


The items more likely to sell for high value are:

  • vintage or antique toys, clothing, jewelry, tools and furniture
  • vintage stamp, coin, comic book and baseball card collections
  • mid-century housewares and baking pieces from Fiesta or Pyrex
  • silver, gold and even costume jewelry
  • everyday tools

What’s great is that even if you have lower to mid-value items in your sale, they sell too!

With MaxSold you sell everything simply.

You can choose to manage the sale on your own, with a little bit of education and knowing your way around an iPad.

Or, you can hire a MaxSold Partner such as Organized Haven to manage your household contents sale.

You can learn more about this topic, and other downsizing options to help you Rightsize Your Senior Move, over on the blog here: The Kids Don’t Want It… What Now?


PIN IT to remember it!



Happy Rightsizing!



By: Nicole Ramer, CPO®, SMM~C®

(Certified Professional Organizer® & Certified Senior Move Manager®)

© 2022 Organized Haven. All rights reserved.

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