Considering downsizing? Time to dig into spring cleaning and preparing


Spring is coming! Despite the recent cold and rainy weather, we are only four more Wednesdays until the Spring Equinox, at which time we are encouraged to dance in the moonlight around a roaring bonfire…. or plant your garden… or clean out your attic… I am sure you get the idea.

It is a time of re-awakening from the winter doldrums. Time for a fresh start, new ideas, and new projects, and if one of your projects is the exploration of downsizing to a new home, now would be a good time to start making a list of must-haves, what to keep, and what can go.

Items For Your List:

Many of our peers have lived in their homes for decades.

This can mean a lifetime of collections, not just of knick-knacks but drawings and poems written and drawn by their children and grandchildren, their own journals and paintings, heirlooms from their family members and so on.

This is all before we move onto the garage where lawn tools, repair equipment, that classic car that never quite got restored, and other “manly” things are stored.

And then there is the consideration of the new space. How much do we really need? One story or two? Single or double garage? Large yard or small, but big enough for a garden?

And the elephant in the room has to be the price – what will your house sell for, and what will you have to spend for a new one? Are there repairs needed to your home? When can a handyman suffice, and when should you have a licensed contractor take over repairs?

The first steps can feel overwhelming, which is why I recommend making a list.

How many of your treasures will translate to treasures for your family? Should you consider an estate sale? How does one go about setting one up?

Perhaps you are considering an independent or assisted living move, which can mean even more downsizing will be needed.

And if this is something you are considering, how will you find a good fit for your activity level, transportation needs and comfortable neighborly companionship?

Perhaps, if you just had some in-home help, you could remain where you are. What type of help do you need and how often?

Just how do those reverse mortgages work?

The good news is that there is help at hand. Our local community has many resources available to help you with your list and questions.

Movers moving a couch which an an elderly man is sitting on, while he holds a cup of tea and smiles
Movers moving a couch which an an elderly man is sitting on, while he holds a cup of tea and smiles

Companies that provide one-stop solutions covering all the things on your list, like estate sales and online auctions, downsizing and decluttering, donation, and junk removal. They can also help with packing and unpacking, space planning and move management.

They can make referrals to trusted vendors, like moving companies, and of course, handle the sale and purchase of your properties.

Other local companies can provide in-home care, and assistance in finding the right place for assisted or independent living.

Below are some contacts for these services.

Realtors Specializing in Senior Moves:

Caring Transitions of Olympia

Real Estate 55 Plus

Assisted Living:

The Sequoia

The Firs, MBK Senior Living

In-home Help:

Above Home Health

Advanced Health Care

Kathleen Anderson writes this column each week from her home in Olympia.  Contact her at or post your comment below.


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