Archive for moving

Making Peace with Downsizing

elderly womanIt’s not easy to give up a home you’ve lived in for years, maybe decades, even when you know it’s the best thing for you to do.

Let’s just say it: Change is scary.

And moving somewhere different, maybe to a different neighbourhood, or even a different town altogether, is a HUGE change.

Downsizing adds a whole new layer to all that. Having to choose which of your possessions you can take with you, and what you’re going to do with everything else, is tough.

Just know that you’re not alone in all this.

I’ve dealt with many individuals who have left their homes to move to a retirement home. I also have personal experience coping with family and parent illness and understand all this encompasses.  I know the emotional difficulties of the transitional steps one may take in caring for their aging loved ones. I’ll be happy to help you and your family to cope with downsizing and entering the next stage of life.

But if you’re not ready for that (and I understand if you’re not – it is a big deal, after all) you might take comfort in reading an e-book written by one of my American colleagues. It’s called Making Peace with Downsizing and you can download it free of charge.

Then, when you’re ready to take the first step, complete our free questionnaire. We’ll help you evaluate your situation and prepare for the next phase in your lives.

Home Staging Tips for Downsizers

How to Stage Your Home for a Quick Sale in 30 DaysSo, the time has come for you to sell your house and move to a smaller house, a condo or apartment, or maybe a retirement home or long term care facility.

Putting your home on the market is one of the most stressful and confusing events you can face. Especially when you realize that buyers are not seeing your home; they are seeing your house. A buyer’s critical eye can be a little upsetting. Okay, let’s face it… a lot upsetting.

Whether your move is for health reasons or you’re just ready for a change, you will benefit from “staging” your house for a quick sale. This is just another way to say you are going to make your house the jewel of the real estate market in your neighbourhood.

Potential buyers will be looking at many properties, and if yours doesn’t measure up, you can be sure they won’t come back for a second look.

Keeping the grass cut and the dishes put away is no longer enough. These days, savvy sellers know that someone is much more likely to make an offer if they can actually picture themselves living in the home. The best way to achieve this is through staging.

Home buyers are fastidious and have visions of neat perfection. These same buyers may live with life’s clutter in their own house, but when they go shopping for a new house, they expect neat, tidy, and absolutely uncluttered.

But, the truth is that we LIVE in our house. It’s hard to separate our house from our life. We end up with shoe piles in the hallway, laundry baskets permanently perched at the bottom of the stairs, and small appliances lining our kitchen counter-tops like little culinary soldiers. Is this so wrong? The awful truth is, yes. When you are staging your house to sell, clutter is a deal-breaker. Is that fair? Maybe not. Is it true? Definitely.

In order to make your house as salable and appealing as possible, you need to match the buyer’s dream, and a clean slate is the only way a buyer can see their dream. To you, the seller, this may mean some big changes.

Home staging is about removing certain items so potential buyers can envision their own furniture and family living in your house, preparing each room to enhance the architectural features of the house, and turning your rooms back to their intended purposes.

We can help you with this process, and our 1 hour Walk & Talk consultation is only $100.00! (within 50 km of Dunnville only). Ask your realtor if they’ll cover the cost of your Walk & Talk – it will help them sell your house more quickly.

If you’re on a tight budget, our e-book, How to Stage Your Home for a Quick Sale in 30 Days, may be just what you need. Click here for more details and to order your copy.

For more information about staging  your home, email us at or call 905-971-9568.

How to Protect Yourself when Selling Online

selling on KijijiWhen you’re downsizing, there will probably be a lot of things that you won’t be taking to your new home, either because you won’t have room for them, or because you won’t need them anymore.

If you’re concerned with the environment and your community, you’ll likely choose to donate a lot of your unneeded items to people in need or local charitable organizations such as Goodwill or the St. Vincent de Paul Society, but if some of your items are valuable, you might be more inclined to try and sell them.

There are lots of ways you can sell used goods, but newspaper classifieds can be expensive, and flyers in the grocery store might not get noticed. That’s why Kijiji and Craigslist are so popular. Because your ad is on a major website, you have access to a lot of potential buyers, and it’s free, so you don’t have to worry about selling the item for less than you paid for the ad or not selling it at all.

Sounds pretty good, right?

Well, it is pretty good, but there are a few things you need to watch out for.

Really vague emails which use the phrase “your item” instead of referring to it by name are usually from a scammer. Such emails will often mention such things as having someone else pick up the item, agent’s fees, or other details that wouldn’t normally apply in a person-to-person sale.

If you receive a suspicious message like this, do not respond to it; just delete it.

If the initial inquiry includes an offer to pay you online, this may also be a fraud attempt. Never divulge your PayPal email address, your home address, or any other personal information until you have communicated directly with the buyer and are satisfied that everything is above board.

For your protection, it’s recommended that all transactions take place in person in a public place and that you only accept cash payments.

For more information, check out this video from Kijiji’s customer service team.

If you need help selling, donating, or disposing of your unwanted items in an environmentally friendly way, email us at or call 905-971-9568.

Downsizing Your Belongings Before Downsizing Your Home

old china cupsIf you’ve lived in the same house for many years, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of stuff in your garage, basement, and/or other storage areas. Much of it has been packed away for so long that you don’t even know what you have, but because you’ve always had room for it, it’s never been an issue. But now that it’s time to move to a smaller house, a condo, or a retirement home, it’s time to make some decisions. You won’t have room for all that stuff in your new place, and even if you did, there wouldn’t be much point in moving it, just to store it away again.

There are a number of ways you can get rid of items you won’t be taking to your new home.

1. Offer them to family members.

Certain items will be more valuable than others, whether we’re talking about monetary value or sentimental value, and you may wish to keep them in the family. Ask your children or grandchildren if they would like to have them, but don’t be upset if they don’t accept everything. Something that is important to you may not have any significance to them, and they may have limited space.

2. Sell them.

If you have a large number of sellable items, you might consider holding a garage sale or auction. Individual items may be advertised for free on bulletin boards in local stores or on Kijiji, or sold at a second-hand store or consignment shop. A second-hand store will buy the items from you and then resell them at a higher price, whereas a consignment shop will display them in the store and give you a percentage of the price once a sale is completed.

3. Donate them to charity.

Different charities accept everything from mittens to tractors. Some distribute them to persons in need, while others sell them to raise funds for their programs. Here is a list of Canadian charitable organizations and the types of goods they accept.

4. Give them away.

Perhaps you would prefer to make sure your unneeded items go directly to a person or family in need, instead of donating them to an organization.  One way to do this is to join The Freecycle Network and offer your items to other members in your local area. Here is a list of active Freecycle groups in Ontario.

5. Dispose of them responsibly.

Most items should not be simply tossed in the garbage.

Any papers that show your name, address, or other personal information, should be shredded. If you don’t own a shredder, your documents may be taken to a UPS Store or other facility for secure shredding.

Be sure to recycle any paper and containers that are accepted in your community, and take household hazardous waste to a designated facility.

We would be happy to help you distribute or dispose of your unneeded belongings.

Give us a call at 905-971-9568 or email us to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

Photo © Cheryl Empey – stock.xchng

Seniors Considering Downsizing: A Moving Checklist for Helping You Decide What Stays & What Goes

moving checklistThis is the tough part. Where do you begin if your current home is packed full of years of accumulation? How do I decide what stays and what goes? Here’s a simple checklist to help you in this process… and remember, it’s never too early to begin planning.

Start by space planning to determine what will fit in the new home.

Sorting through your belongings:

Start in rooms that will be easier (i.e., not being used).

Take it a room at a time = less overwhelmed.

Start with larger items to decide how much space you need.

Save the family photos and treasures for last.

Call a family meeting to distribute personal belongings and share your memories about each item before giving it away.

Determine what to keep, what goes to family and friends, what to donate, what to trash and what to sell (it’s OK to re-gift).

When in doubt, throw it out. If you can’t bear to lose the memory of an item, take a picture of it before you let it go.

Keep a list and mark all items.

What does go, arrange for an auction (including E-Bay), Garage Sale or Estate Sale.

Have a moving party and share the favorite memories of your home.

Pass on the history of your home to the new owner to keep the memories alive.

JoJo Harmon is a realtor with Prudential California Realty in Orange County California and has earned the Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation (SRES). Realtors with the SRES designation have demonstrated the knowledge and expertise to counsel senior clients through lifestyle transitions. She specialized in residential homes, relocations, investment properties, senior 55+ housing and fine homes and estates from Newport Beach to San Clemente.

Article Source:

Photo: ©Depositphotos / Ruth Black