Are You Ready to Downsize?

How do you know you’re ready to move onto the next chapter of your life and downsize? Do any of these situations sound familiar?


  • Your children have moved on, and you’re now thinking about the carefree way of life you had before kids, a mortgage and car payments
  • The idea of a smaller, lower maintenance apartment sounds good after all the snow you had to clear this past winter
  • Your knee is starting to act up from your running days and is making it harder to get up and down the stairs
  • You used to love seeing all your neighbours, but these days, it seems most of your friends have moved and downsized and are always away on holidays
  • You’re looking forward to having more time to play golf together and less time worrying about the upkeep of your family home

Today’s typical Canadian baby-boomers, those born between 1947 and 1966 are on the move, looking to reduce costs and free up money tied up in their home for retirement and travel. Often, the family home seems too big now that their children have moved and they are ready to enjoy carefree living with fewer responsibilities (no more snow shoveling).

The trick to making your move carefree is to do a little upfront preparation.

For example, one challenge you’ll likely face is what to do with the lifetime of photos that you’ve collected and cherished. A smart idea is to keep all your memories by digitizing all your photos and saving them in a program like iPhoto that lets you see your photos in your computer or on your TV anytime.

Here are a few other simple tips:

  1. Sort, organize and declutter by tackling one room at a time in 15- minute chunks of time
  2. Be ruthless about what you can do without, especially as you are likely downsizing (does your dog or cat really need 20 stuffed toys?)
  3. Make a plan and a floor plan so you know what’s going where in the new home
  4. Don’t take no for an answer from adult children who left stuff behind when they left the nest
  5. Connect with companies that handle contents and estate sales if you want to sell a large number of goods. For valuables and good-quality items, consider consignment stores and auction houses. Expect to pay a professional seller about 40 per cent or 50 per cent of the value.Charities willalso accept articles in good shape. Check out places like Furniture Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Recycling Rewards, and the Canadian Diabetes Association.

If you’re ready to go for it, a little preparation can ensure it’s smooth sailing all the way to the golf course.

Photo Credit: Joanna Bourne

Vicky Riley Keyes

Vicky Riley Keyes

Vicky Riley Keyes, is the President & Founder of Red Coats Moving Solutions. Recognizing that the demographics of the population was changing, Vicky Riley Keyes started Red Coats Moving Solutions in 2004 to help people with the overwhelming task of downsizing and moving.