barriers to downsizing

How To Remove Your Barriers To Downsizing – Is Someone Or Something Stopping You?

Are you stuck in a dilemma about when and how to downsize?  Are there emotions or barriers to downsizing or in your way of moving forward?  Are there barriers to you wanting to start downsizing?  Is it someone or something that is stopping you from making the move?

I have seen all types of barriers to downsizing in my years of downsizing project management.  These barriers range from family members, partners, and physical logistics – all stopping the start of the downsize in many ways.

Let me share some tips on how to remove those downsizing barriers.  I have gathered the tips and insights from many years of working through these issues with my senior clients.

Downsizing Barrier Tip #1 – Dig Deep and Find the Source

This may be hard, but do some soul searching.  Take some time out for a discussion with a friend, or a long walk – even a grounding break just to focus on yourself.  Try to connect with your own true feelings and concerns and don’t let anyone get in your way.  Write a list of the items as the thoughts flow into your mind.

Downsizing Barrier Tip #2 – Categorise THAT Source of Barrier

I recommend you take three different coloured highlighting pens and look at your list from your ‘digging deep time’.  In my experience, the sources of barriers generally fall into three main categories. Choose a colour for each one:

  1. Intrapersonal belief
  2. Family or significant other
  3. Physical
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Downsizing Barrier Tip # 3 – Have Courageous Conversations to Get Help Or Otherwise

Intrapersonal Belief barriers

If it is your thoughts you’re not alone.  I have seen and talked through many concerns, with many seniors.  Sometimes for them, it is about letting go, a partner that doesn’t want to change, or not dealing with the perceived loss of control, your hard work, or the home you love.  It is very normal.  Often a personal conversation with counsellor can help you through this transition or a dear friend who wants to support you.

Family or significant other barriers

If your barrier is another person, they may be protecting their own interests or believing they are protecting yours.  The only way around this is to have this courageous conversation and transparency should lay out a solution.  Again, a counsellor could help you with how to have this conversation with strategies to assist in getting you through.  Where your partner or close person is involved, relationship counselling could be considered.

Physical barriers

I’ve seen barriers of; too much stuff, physical disability, and physical distance.  All of these require a getting help conversation around getting help, you just need to ask.  It may be hiring some helpers, a project manager, removalists, or declutterers.  You will need to identify the item and address the physical issue.

In Summary

You will encounter either one or all of those barriers to downsizing. All you need to do is look for the source and deal with it with the help of family, friends, or professionals. You are not alone in your downsizing journey.

If you want to read more on how you can get over the barriers of downsizing, get a copy of my book – Rightsize Your Home: The Empty Nester’s Guide to a Stress-Free Downsize.


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