Tips for sellers lightening their load

Whether the kids have flown the coop or you want a simpler, streamlined life, choosing to sell your home for a smaller one can be a breath of fresh air.

But sometimes homeowners who want to downsize remain stuck in their home due to a lack of clarity in the next step, uncertainty about pricing, an attachment to their current home and items, or a combination of all these.

I have helped many families downsize in my nearly-a-decade as a real estate agent. One of the biggest hangups I see in a downsize move is the challenging question of: What next?

It’s ok not to know

If you’re downsizing and selling your home, it’s okay not to know exactly where to go next. You don’t have to have it all figured out.

Many sellers feel pressure from both ends as they rush to close their home sale while also struggling on the buy-side. The timing won’t always line up, or you may not even know what you want. There’s no need to rush! Take your time to find the perfect new space.

Sometimes this means testing the waters to figure out what you want. Give yourself permission and the freedom to not know.

Need a knowledgeable sounding board? Email me to schedule an informative call:

Not sure if you want to stay in Cherry Creek or the foothills? Try renting for a year and see how you like it.

Meanwhile, take note of the pros and cons of the area, proximity to family and take into consideration the things you find. Do you want total privacy? Do you want your grocery store a quick walk away?

Renting provides a way for you to try out a new neighborhood without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in a commitment right away.

If and when you do commit, your new home won’t always be perfect. Even new-construction homes can have quirks you’ll need to address if they’re the first of their design.

Some seller clients of mine (we sold 457 Clayton Street this January) recently downsized and sold the 4,363 square-foot town home.

They are taking the approach to rent for a year while they analyze the Boston area real estate market vs. the Denver housing market.

What to do with all your stuff

One trick for figuring out what to part with involves making three separate piles: trash, donate, and keep.

This process of sorting through your things can get emotional, so it helps to have a brutal friend along for the ride; they’ll provide unbiased support and keep you on track when you get caught down memory lane.

Before beginning the process, if you have any items you think family members may want, make sure you let them know they need to claim these things by a certain date! Be firm; give it a hard cut-off.

From there, with the three piles you’ve made, you can clear out, convert into donation, and either sell or keep the things that have the most value or carry the most meaning.

Part of my services as your listing agent involves coordinating and paying for services to pick up your trash and donations. Email me for a free consultation:


Even if you end up with massive amounts of things to throw away, it doesn’t have to overwhelm. You can order a large pick-up through your county, or call 1-800-JUNK to come collect your trash.


If you haven’t used something or worn it in years, chances are you won’t. Donating some of these beloved items serves as one of the best options for giving them new life while clearing your space. Some great options for donating include Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, and United Veterans. In fact, both Goodwill and United Veterans offer a pick-up service.


For those valuable items that you can’t simply give away, you can always host an estate sale or garage sale. With all of the other things out of the way, you’ll see more clearly those items of value, and others will too.

Header Image: Photo by Henry Desro on Unsplash