Too overwhelmed to downsize?


Dear David,

My husband requires 24-hour care. Two years ago, I made the difficult decision to move him into an assisted living facility. I’m trying to maintain our family home, but keeping up with the grounds and the pool is getting to be too much. The idea of downsizing on my own feels equally overwhelming. Where do I go from here?  – STUCK

DEAR STUCK: Every year I meet several people in this type of situation. The stress of chronic illness, divorce or a change in circumstance can be overwhelming, and when combined with the demands of trying to downsize on your own, can leave you feeling trapped.

Figuring out where you want to go from here can be hard if you’re used to making decisions with your partner. Sadly, if your husband is not likely to return home, you need to consider which type of lifestyle is going to work best for you.

I suggest breaking things down into smaller, more manageable pieces, and list-making is a great way to organize your thoughts. Make a “top ten” list of things you’d really like in your next home. Affordability is a popular first choice, followed closely by location, which is important when you want to stay close to your spouse.  Beyond that, every list is different. Are you looking to build social connections? Enjoy convenient amenities? Have easy access to the outdoors? Take some time to contemplate your needs, and as you build your list, the next chapter will start to take shape. You may want to ask for input from friends or get your children involved, but at the end of the day, you’re the one who needs to decide how you want to spend your next chapter.

It’s important to carve out the emotional space to make these decisions, and it’s hard to contemplate when you’re constantly busy. You may have spent every previous new season taking care of the yard and the pool, but doing everything yourself will eventually take its toll. Hire someone to mow the lawn and manage the pool, and give yourself permission to rest. By easing the pressure of these daily tasks, you can step off the proverbial hamster wheel and think about your next steps. Take a deep breath. Pour some tea. Sharpen your pencil and grab a notepad. It may take some time to figure things out, and that’s OK.

Consider what you want out of your next home. Talk to your Realtor about options and price points. Set a realistic timetable. Start decluttering with a purpose, keeping in mind that there are professionals who can help you preserve key parts of your family history in accessible ways, such as digitizing 40 years of family photos for viewing on an iPad.

PRO TIP: Once you’ve decided on your next step, doing it right is more important than doing it quickly. Get some help around the house and set your calendar aside. Make decisions based on your best interests and what you want out of life. Moving forward is easier when you give yourself a little space to think. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.