Oak Crest Personal Moving Consultant: Think New Year's Resolutions as a Guide to House Downsizing

The following is presented by Ashley Ruth, Personal Moving Consultant at Oak Crest. PARKVILLE, MD---With the spring house selling season beginning in earnest next month, the prospect of downsizing a home can be daunting to sellers of all ages. As the personal moving consultant for Oak Crest, the Erickson Living retirement community in Parkville, I regularly meet with clients who have owned their homes for twenty, thirty or even forty-plus years. Their antiques, furniture, papers and photos represent precious memories, but when it's time to sell, prioritizing these items can challenge the most organized of homeowners. The most difficult part of the process is getting started. And that's when I tell clients to think of downsizing in the same terms as making a New Year's resolution. Whether the goal is losing weight or being more organized, it's no accident that people who are successful in creating and fulfilling their New Year's resolutions follow a plan. With the proper mindset and support, the results can be the same for those sellers looking to downsize their home.  Here are a few tips I share with clients: • Be specific when creating your goals.  For example, identify the rooms that will be more challenging, list resources such as family members and charitable organizations to involve, and know your time frame. • Record your goals at the very beginning.  The old saying applies: if it gets written down, it gets done.  Posting your goals in a visible spot keeps you motivated. • Keep your plan manageable.  Break tasks into step-by-step pieces.  For example, concentrate on a den in week one, shred documents in week two, arrange charity pick-ups in week three and so on. • Share your plan with someone you trust. Asking a family member or dependable friend to regularly follow-up with you creates accountability.  Invite them to help when it comes to moving furniture or lifting boxes from that top closet shelf. • Reward yourself with positive reinforcement along the way.  Take a before and after photo of a downsized room and share with family members and your real estate professional.  That might get them even more involved, too, by showing your steps forward. • Stick with it!  If you make progress and then regress for a bit, don't quit. Assess what caused the setback and adjust.  Remember that the reward of successful downsizing is a quicker sale and an enhanced price for your house. Downsizing is always a challenge, but in today's market, it is an essential piece of the selling process. With the right plan and support, though, anyone can successfully downsize their home. Just like people who achieve their New Year's resolutions, you can share in the glory when the process is complete and you are enjoying your new home, condo or retirement community. Perry Hall resident Ashley Ruth is the personal moving consultant at Oak Crest, the Erickson Living retirement community in Parkville.  Ashley provides her clients with trusted realty and moving resources, as well as expert advice with every aspect of the move ---from selling their house to settling into their new home at Oak Crest.  She can be reached at 410-665-2222 or ashley.ruth@erickson.com.