The Mental Barriers to Downsizing and How To Overcome Them

With around 60% of people living in homes 2,000 square feet and over claim they will downsize the next time they move, it’s clear that smaller homes are getting more and more popular. However, downsizing isn’t always a choice, and for some, it can prove to be rather difficult with many mental barriers to overcome. From emotional attachment to physical barriers, here’s how you can easily overcome the difficulties of downsizing no matter where you’re moving to.

Reasons why it can be so difficult

It’s important to keep in mind that people downsize for a plethora of reasons. From the kids growing up and moving out to needing a smaller space for health related reasons, downsizing can benefit many people. Some personality types, for example, are strong-minded and might pursue ideas like downsizing with logic and a focus on the big picture. However, for those who don’t feel ready, the journey to downsizing can bring some difficult mental barriers.

For example, downsizing can prove to be stressful for homeowners who have been living in a larger home for a long time. This can bring issues such as going through possessions and deciding what to keep, and where to put it all. Not to mention, there's plenty of stress that comes along with packing, especially when a long journey to the new place is involved. Older folks may also stress about getting things packed up, as it can be difficult to do so with physical limitations (such as medical conditions).

Some people might find downsizing particularly more difficult than others. For instance, many homeowners are emotionally attached to their houses. Perhaps they’ve raised their family there and associate the house with a lifetime of memories, or maybe they’ve never thought that they’d be moving. This can make downsizing an emotional battle. Whether you’re dealing with the stress of downsizing or an emotional obstacle, it’s important to realize the toll it can take on your health.

A health risk

For many, the stress that comes with downsizing can lead to negative mental health effects. For instance, the symptoms of stress include anxiety and a change in mood. Stress can also lead to depression, and even to a lack of motivation and focus, making it extremely difficult to downsize to a smaller home in several ways. Doing the paperwork to put their current house on the market can also be a mental obstacle, while for others, asking for help can be an issue. Sorting through possessions and packing can be an unbearable task for those who are emotionally attached to their house and the things within it, though luckily there are several things that can be done to help you positively move on in the downsizing process.

How you can move on

Downsizing might mean leaving your bigger home behind, but it doesn’t have to be dreadful. In fact, there are several ways you can get help so that you can move on to the next part of your downsizing journey, depending on your situation. For example, those who are having trouble packing can hire professional movers. Hiring movers can be especially beneficial for someone who may have physical limitations or conditions, which prevent them from lifting heavy objects. Inviting family over to assist in sorting through your possessions can also be a great help. And, for those who have an emotional attachment to their home, doing something like having one last family dinner can be a great way to gain closure, proving that no matter the situation, there are solutions out there to help you downsize in an easier and stress-free way.

Downsizing homes is a life changing event, though many people may not feel ready to do so. From the stress of moving to emotional attachment to the current home, reaching out for help can help you to move on and enjoy your downsizing journey.
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