Downsizing can be a shrewd financial move for older adults. When you no longer need the extra space, moving to a smaller home allows you to slash utility expenses, maintenance costs and property taxes, all while finding a home suited to your changing needs.
But the process has its challenges. Specifically, downsizing often requires you to edit your belongings – pare things down to fit the dimensions of a smaller home. The task is demanding, requiring you to rifle through cherished keepsakes and neglected boxes, sorting items in terms of personal importance.
For your efforts, the rainbow at the end is yet another opportunity for financial improvement. You can sell your unwanted belongings to make a little extra cash – either as a complete DIY or with help from a professional downsizing company.
You can achieve this by preparing a “downsizing contents sale,” essentially somewhere between an estate sale and a yard sale. Follow the tips below for more information.
Work with a Professional Decluttering and Downsizing Service
The best piece of advice for aspiring downsizers is to connect with experts. Look for patient and compassionate downsizing services that will help you declutter your old home, sort through belongings and facilitate an end-to-end move.
Additionally, professional downsizers can help coordinate your downsizing sale and advise on alternative modes of sale for valuable items (see below). With luck, you can cover their costs (and then some) by selling those extra belongings, essentially bankrolling an easy move and getting rid of unwanted belongings in one fell swoop.
Hold Back Higher Value Items to Sell in Advance
Before you lay tables on the driveway for a downsizing contents sale, consider your higher-value items. For instance, a downsizing sale might not be the ideal venue for selling your teak cabinet or collectible set of figurines.
Like yard sales, contents sales are more about selling belongings expeditiously; you want to move things out quickly and will settle for a lower resale value in return. Therefore, it’s wise to hold back higher-value items and sell them in other ways: on eBay, at a local auction, through furniture dealers, on Facebook Marketplace or through consignment. Talk to the experts about what items you should sell separately.
Advertise Your Downsizing Sale
You’ve decluttered with the help of professional downsizing services. You’ve identified what items to keep, which items to sell by other means and, finally, what items to include in your downsizing sale. All that’s left to do is advertise!
Advertise the traditional way with visible signage at nearby peak intersections (it’s still the most effective way to attract eyeballs leading up to the event). But you may also consider advertising via social media and online classifieds. Post the sale on your private social media account and share it as a public event on sites like Kijiji or Craigslist. If able, take quality photos of some items for sale – so that people know what to expect.
Work with the Professionals to Manage the Remainders
Lastly, work with your professional downsizing experts to manage remainders from the sale. If some higher-ticket items didn’t move, you can consider selling them online, via auction, consignment stores, furniture stores, etc. And if some “dispensable” items failed to sell, you can chat with the experts about donating or discarding them.
As any downsizer will tell you, cash is easier to move than belongings. Before you pack up the moving trucks, follow the tips above for a successful, lucrative downsizing contents sale.