Downsizing – Helping Your Clients
Find Happiness in A Smaller Home
“Real happiness requires less than you think.” – Unknown
A few years ago, the airlines updated their luggage allowances. Gone were the days of taking two suitcases, weighing 70 pounds each, loaded up with two weeks’ worth of clothing, shoes, and toiletries. Now, travellers need to restrict themselves to a single bag, weighing less than 50 pounds, crammed with a few day’s worth of carefully rolled up t-shirts, pants, and socks.
A separate carry-on bag is also required for toiletries; tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner now sit in the rightful place of the latest hardcover novel. For anyone who remembers the carefree days of non-restrictive packing, downsizing to a much smaller suitcase is challenging, at best. But do you really need that spare pair of espadrilles? Or that extra large bottle of guava-scented shampoo? Chances are, you are just as happy, if not happier without them.
Downsizing from a larger home to a smaller one can be challenging as well. But, just like air travel, homeowners often discover that real happiness requires less than they think. Not only is the extra pair of espadrilles not required, but by paring down their possessions, your clients may come to realize that there is a certain freedom in “rightsizing” their lives. So, why is there such a need for downsizing? What services can you, as a Certified Ultimate Professional Organizer™, offer these clients? And, how can you stand out from your competition?
The need for downsizing:
By 2024, it is expected that 1 in 5 Canadians will be over the age of 65, with a life expectancy of an additional 20 years. And while many of these individuals plan on staying in their current home as long as possible, 76% of those who plan to move, expect to purchase a replacement primary residence. According to Mustel Group and Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s, ‘2020 Generational Real Estate Trends Report: Aging in Place’, of those who plan on moving, 54% expect to move into a condominium, aka, a much smaller home.
These seniors “are most likely to be motivated by the desire to downsize into a smaller home due to concerns that their existing one will be too large as they age”. This is followed by concerns regarding the home’s maintenance, as well as its physical layout.
Services you can offer:
As a Professional Organizer, you have an opportunity to specialize in this sector of the industry. As the number of seniors escalates, so too can your role as an Organizer. For these clients, you would be required to coordinate and manage the entire downsizing process, to achieve the goal of creating a smaller version of ‘home’.
Downsizing can be challenging, both from an emotional and a physical viewpoint. Living in a home for many years translates into an accumulation of both possessions and memories. These items and emotions require understanding, compassion, and organization. As a Professional Organizer, your caring, positive attitude can help your client avoid what could be a stressful, overwhelming, and exhausting experience.
Pre-Move Preparation Services:
- Decluttering and sorting through your client’s belongings. Alone, this can be a tedious process of deciding which possessions to keep and which to give away. Your objective viewpoint can offer a detached, yet compassionate voice. You can help your client keep the things they use, need, and enjoy regularly.
- Space planning of the new home. Knowing the size of the individual rooms will help you and your client decide what furniture etc. can be moved. This planning should also include the availability of storage space.
- Organization of both the items to be kept, and the items to be dispersed.
- Packing – this could include the provision of packing materials.
- Discussion and scheduling of dispersal options – these can include auction services, family members, disposal bins, as well as donation and recycling centres.
- Delivery of donations.
- Labeling and tracking of the contents of each box.
- Arrangement of a storage pod or unit if required.
- Selection and scheduling of the moving company.
- Cancellation and rescheduling of gas, hydro, cable, and internet companies.
- Organizing trades for repairs or renovations.
- Organization of cleaning (if required) prior to Staging.
- Optional: Staging of the home. Leverage the power of your Certifications, as a Certified UltimateStager™ you can offer multiple services as part of a customized package.
Move-In Day Services:
- Supervising the loading and unloading of boxes.
- Setting up furniture, personal items, and accessories.
- Helping the client to settle-in. This can be an emotional day; your role is to make their new space feel like home.
- Disposal of packing materials.
- Ensuring the client’s old home is clean and ready for the new owners.
- Designing an organizational system, customized to each client.
- Organizing the client’s closets, cabinets etc.
- Establishing organizational routines.
- Optional: Assisting in the choice of paint colours and interior design décor; leverage the power of your Decorating & ReDesign ™ Certification.
How you can stand out:
Standing out from the competition is critical to your company’s success. How can you accomplish this?
- Offer additional services such as Home Staging, Feng Shui, and Decorating & ReDesign. You will differentiate your business from the competition, while giving your clients more reasons to deal with you on a long-term basis.
- Deliver extraordinary service that goes beyond what your competitors are doing.
- Focus on a niche in your industry, such as downsizing.
- Create a powerful offer or guarantee.
- Build a rapport and a long-standing relationship with your clients.
As the Canadian population both ages and lives longer, more homeowners will require help downsizing. Moving from a larger home into a smaller one can be challenging, due to the years of accumulation and emotional attachment. But just as air travelers have discovered, packing less does not negate the happiness of the trip.
After all real happiness requires less than you think.