Big life changes often go hand in hand with cleaning out a home — but it doesn’t mean it’s the same every time. Downsizing a home for retirement is a different process than decluttering after someone dies. How a person cleans space for the next chapter should be known as “rightsizing,” one author said.
In her latest book, “Rightsize Today to Create Your Best Life Tomorrow,” Marni Jameson explores the concept of “rightsizing,” after having downsized homes after losing loved ones, going through a divorce and blending families with her husband, who is a widower. Jameson is also the author of a syndicated column, “At Home With Marni Jameson.”
“I became very good at getting rid of stuff,” she said.
Everyone approaches retirement differently, as they do with moving between homes. Some people think they will stay in their current home by default, or may feel an emotional attachment to it because of the years spent there raising a family, Jameson said. But retirees should ask themselves instead if their current home is really the best place for them in their later years, and if not, where would that perfect place be instead?
Jameson spoke with MarketWatch about “rightsizing,” and how to approach this task.
MarketWatch: What exactly does ‘rightsizing’ mean to you?
Marni Jameson: I define it as moving to or creating a home that is perfect — physically, emotionally, financially. All of those pieces have to click. People don’t take the longest view enough. They just stay put and do the same thing every day. I think they’re missing an opportunity to move on and have a better life.
MW: Can you expand on that?
Jameson: I think many people are in denial, and don’t want to think about it. They say it’s too much trouble to move, and I have to say, that is not a reason to live less than a best life. Push through what those troubles are and dream a little bit. That’s what my book outlines on paper. What would your best life look like? Where is it? What kind of house do you want to be in – a lock-and-go condo, or a single family where the grandkids can come home? On the water, the golf course? What would you love to do and what’s stopping you?
The four things that stop people are: first, is their stuff. If furniture is standing between you and a better life, think it through. There are a lot of places now, like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist. There are folks you can hire to sell your nicer items. Don’t let that be an obstacle.
People say their memories and all the great times. You can have great times in the next house, and your memories stay with you. You get to take them, so memories are not a good reason to stay in the house that is no longer serving you.
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