Woman packing items for donation and looking at an old picture
image curve overlay

Downsizing and Realtors

Downsizing is the act of reducing clutter and moving into a smaller home in order to simplify day-to-day living. Downsizing home specialists and realtors are available to make this process run as smoothly and simply as possible by helping with tasks such as decluttering, organizing, moving, and packing.

Table of Contents

What Is Downsizing?

For seniors, downsizing is the act of reducing clutter and moving into a smaller dwelling in order to simplify day-to-day living. There are a variety of benefits, including:

  • Less home maintenance
  • Lower utility costs
  • Lower real estate costs
  • Added free time for travel and other hobbies

Often in the process of downsizing, a senior may move into a retirement community such as:

Other times, caregivers and family members assist in downsizing to prepare for a move into assisted living or a long-term care community.

What Do Downsizing Home Specialists and Realtors Do?

Overflowing closet of a verity of clothing

Though downsizing ultimately leads to a simpler life, the process itself can be overwhelming. Tasks include decluttering, selling the current home, finding a new one, and finally moving, packing, and unpacking. Fortunately, downsizing home specialists and realtors are available to make this process run as smoothly and simply as possible.

Senior Movers and Packers

Companies that specialize in moving and packing can be as involved in the downsizing process as their clients want. Some seniors simply need help with moving, while others prefer assistance with every step in the process: staff can help declutter, pack everything up, move, unpack, and arrange their client’s new residence. Companies may even assist with space planning in the new home. The National Association of Senior Move Managers has brought best practices to the industry.


Clutter and hoarding can especially be a problem for seniors, as a cluttered environment creates additional fall hazards. Decluttering experts provide an unbiased perspective to help clients decide which things they no longer need. They can help seniors figure out which belongings to keep while aging in place, which to pass on to family, and which to simply give away. In fact, most decluttering specialists can also provide donation center resources, beyond just Goodwill.

SRES Realtors

Though many realtors can assist with basic home-buying needs, those with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) designation specialize in the real estate needs of maturing Americans. To earn this designation, realtors have to take a special SRES® course through the National Association of REALTORS®.

Estate Sales and Consignment

Though a senior may look to get rid of many belongings while downsizing, a lot of items may still have reasonably high value. Downsizing specialists can help clients sell their unwanted possessions, utilizing tools, for example, such as an onsite estate sale, online auctions, and neighborhood social media sites.

Space Planning Experts

These specialists go through a client’s new environment to help figure out the best setup. Some may utilize floor plan apps and models that make it easier to visualize how a client’s furniture and belongings will work in the space.

Is Downsizing Your Home a Good Idea?

Consider the following statements to decide if downsizing is a good fit for your needs:

  • I’ve lived in my home for a long time, and it no longer suits my needs
  • I don’t need as much space as I currently have
  • I’d like to spend my time on activities like traveling and other hobbies, as opposed to home maintenance like housekeeping and yard work
  • I’d like to live somewhere that easily allows me to age in place
  • I need long-term care and my current home is no longer a good fit
  • I want to downsize now, so that my kids won’t have to deal with all of my stuff themselves
  • I want to see my friends and family enjoying my belongings now

Things to Consider Before Enlisting a Downsizing Specialist and Realtor

  • Ask for referrals
  • Ask for testimonials
  • Check online reviews
  • Look at their Better Business Bureau profile to see there have been complaints
  • Ask for pictures of their work, where appropriate
  • Find out how customer dissatisfaction would be resolved
  • Be wary of anyone who asks for full payment up front

It’s really not about what you have. It’s about how you’re able to enjoy life in general.

– Kevin Harvick