Ask Ken: Questions About Downsizing

What are three pointers you would give someone about to downsize?

First, find out what your things are worth before making moves to get rid of them and communicate with your immediate family to see if they are interested in anything.  Second, decide how large your next space will be so you can plan accordingly. Third, decide which things in your home hold the best memories and if they’re not too large plan to include them in the next house.

Have you ever had to downsize yourself?  What was the experience like for you?

Yes! We’ve always been collectors so the first time we downsized the realtor said told us we needed to get rid of half the stuff in the house before they could show it.  We did as she asked and put half our things in storage. After we did she said we still had too much stuff in our house! Eventually, we wound up moving and taking everything out of the house repainting it and then it sold.  We ended up living without the items we had in storage for about a year, we ended up getting rid of about 90% of the things in storage. If we hadn’t had to put items in storage we would have never imagined we could do without them!

How do I find out if something has value before giving it away or donating it?

Find a knowledgeable and trustworthy professional that you can hire them to help you with the process.  Like the saying “you shouldn’t be your own doctor”, the same is true of downsizing and appraising. Sometimes the emotions and memories you have related to your possessions can make the process daunting and overwhelming.  You deserve to have help with the difficult task of downsizing!

What’s one mistake that someone downsizing should avoid?

The biggest mistake people make is overpaying for moving and clean-out services.  The second biggest mistake they make is working with individuals who do not have experience and product knowledge.  Haste makes waste, don’t get in a hurry without giving it some forethought and research! It will be worth it in the end.

Is it true that no one in my family will want any of my antiques?

The only way to find out is to ask them!  Everyone is different so talk it out and see what they are interested in.  

What services do you offer that assist with the downsizing process?

The main thing that we provide is a 1-hour walkthrough where we can discuss the general nature of what someone has as well as the general value of their items.  The market has changed a great deal recently and we are prepared to show you how your possessions fit within new market trends. During the walkthrough, we discuss how your possessions can be handled or disposed of whether at donation, private sale, or donation.  Also, we provide written appraisals, sell items privately, and make referrals to reputable auction houses