Installment 3 in From Decision to Downsized: The 6 Week Plan to Your NEXTadventure
While many of us dream about getting rid of stuff and ditching the maintenance of a large family home, often the biggest obstacle to downsizing is making the decision to downsize in the first place. The overwhelming process of packing up your house, getting rid of unwanted stuff, and bringing everything up to a “sellable” state is enough to make you crazy.
For one reason or another we’re attached to the house and reluctant to let it go. It’s normal to feel excited about the NEXTadventure AND trepidation about leaving the old adventures behind. The reasons we feel deep emotions about selling a loved home are varied and plentiful. It could be one or all (or any combination therein).
Don’t beat yourself up if you are less than pragmatic about making a major move, be it local or long distance. What’s at stake is more than just walls, windows, and a roof, so the decision to move becomes exponentially harder. Emotional attachments to your way of life or the home that you occupy can cloud your judgement.
- Family Heirloom It can be heartbreaking even to consider letting go of a something that has been in your family for generations. Everywhere you look, you relive the memories made there: baby’s first steps, a special birthday party, or spontaneous laughter over something the dog did. Or perhaps your grandparents (or great grandparents) scrimped and saved to buy that house, or even built it themselves.Have open dialogue with any family members who may be affected by your decisions. Offer them the first rights of refusal to purchase the property if they express interest in doing so. If no one wants to assume the responsibility of it, give yourself permission to let it go. As the writer Chuck Palahniuk said, “The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.” Don’t be afraid of making a decision just because there’s a chance you’ll regret it.
- Sentimental Journeys It’s easy to see how sentimental we can get with our houses. We’ve lived a lot of life in them. Every creaky floorboard tells a story. Every ding in the wall tells a story about the world that we’ve been building for ourselves and our families. If you’ve spent countless hours in pursuit of an aesthetic that is uniquely yours, it can be hard to walk away from all your efforts.Keep your eyes on the prize, however, remember that you can create memories and design miracles anywhere. A new canvas — a NEXTadventure—may be just what the doctor ordered.
- Seeking Glory Does your current home represent a time in your life when you were making a name for yourself and jockeying for position on the food chain? It’s easy to get caught up in the “bigger is better” mindset, especially when consumerism was the name of the game as we came of age in the 70’s and 80’s.Modern midlife adults understand that this is an exhausting — and often impossible — What really makes us happy is friends and family, the serenity of our homes, and the ability to experience new things. The stories we tell about who we are and what we value changes over time.
- Pure Habit Routines constitute daily life. We’ve always lived here, we’ve always vacationed here, we need that thing “just in case.” When routines become habits, it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. When a bunch of old habits pile up that no longer serve us, we’re not living our best lives.If you’re holding on to a house that’s too big, too expensive, too old, or too anything, take a hard look at what’s keeping you there. If it’s just out of habit, it’s time for new habits and new routines.
Just Decide Already!
Once you’ve weighed all of the options, made peace with sentimental attachments, and gotten real with yourself about the story your house tells you, you can make a solid decision with confidence. Once you feel good about that decision, the rest is just organization and endurance. When you’re ready, Jumpstart Your Action Plan.
Tell us what you think about downsizing on Twitter at @taylor_morrison. We’d love to know what you’re up to. Did you know that we are building a living example of inspired living for 55 and Better communities in celebration of the International Builders Show? Watch the progress of The NEXTadventure Home using #nextadventurehome.