Back To Blog

AIRE Relocation Redefined ... Senior Division

  • By
  • Posted

Written by Sharon Montesanti | Vanderblue Team | Higgins Group Real Estate

AIRE Relocation Redefined ... Senior Division

Are you or a loved one planning a "right-size" move to ...

...a smaller residence?  ...a low maintenance condo? ...a senior living community? in-law suite or apartment?

At the Vanderblue Team, we have a single word strategy to assist our clients who are planning a “right-size” move this year ..Simplify!

This month, we feature Part 2 of a series of articles with insights and pointers from Mary Kay Buysse and Kay Morrison, of National Association of Senior Move Managers, who, after many years of working with retirees and empty nesters, provided to AARP Magazine their tips for making the move to a right-size residence


You are not your kids’ attic. “It’s not your job to save everything from your children’s lives,” Kay said. “Box up what belongs to each kid and send it to them.” If it’s furniture you no longer want but your children do, tell them to claim it now or never.

Give deadlines. Tell family members the date you plan to have the house cleared out and to let you know by then what they would like ortherwise hold their peace.

Use technology. FaceTime or Skype to communicate with family members. Walk them through the house as you apply colored stickers with their names on what they want. On smaller items such as tools or jewelry, put the items on a table or in a bag that bears a sticker with their name on it.

Don’t do it alone. When going through old belongings that carry a lot of emotional weight, like the closet of a deceased spouse or parent or even a child’s room after the child has moved out, have a close friend or family member with you, said grief expert Russell Friedman. “Touching belongings that trip memories is a huge emotional stimulus,” he said. “Stuff is a strong connective device. It’s important to have someone to talk to…”   

Consider an “objective” party. When the items are less emotional, experts in this field recommend having an “objective” (as in... not a relative) outsider help you for a variety of reasons. They will bring an unbiased “clearheadedness” to the process..

It gets easier. Start with the easiest places, said Mary Kay. Clear out the basement, the garage, and the kids’ bedrooms. Here’s why: Over time you get desensitized to the downsizing process, so it gets easier.                

Colored stickers are your best friend. Get packs of them and make a key: Purple is keep. Yellow means give away. Green goes to a family member. Red is for a garage sale. Go room by room and put stickers on everything. “When you’re done, you will have completed one of the hardest parts of the job—making the decisions,” said Kay.

Make choices. When you are downsizing a large collection, you don’t have to give up the entire curio cabinet.  

Allow time. ….“It took forty years to build a home. You don’t have to dispose of it all in two weekends. Give the process the dignity it deserves. Be thoughtful and acknowledge the sentiment, but keep moving.”

Look for our series of monthly articles where we share advice from experts, and a bit of personal experience, to save you or a loved one time and reduce the stress related to moving to a smaller residence or condo, a senior community, or an assisted living or skilled nursing facility.

Add Comment

Comments are moderated. Please be patient if your comment does not appear immediately. Thank you.


  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.