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  • Writer's pictureDesigning Moves

Sorting and Selling Tips for Seniors


Today’s seniors are the greatest generation ever to downsize, so the market can be flooded with items for sale! We have learned that buyers today are looking for unique, one-of-a-kind items that have character and history. Today's buyer enjoys a more relaxed and streamlined home and is less interested in dining tables, china cabinets, lots of decor, or crystal and antique dishes that can’t go into the dishwasher. My advice is to sell those items in the next few years as they will be harder to sell later when the market is flooded. Supply and demand will drive the prices down.

When sorting, beware that attics and basements can have lots of allergens. Consider wearing a mask and old clothing with long sleeves to prevent irritation from insulation. Work in short time frames. Make contained piles of trash, items for family, to sell, and to move. Honestly, there should be very few items in the attic that you will move to your new home – if you haven’t needed anything stored up there all this time, you probably won’t need it now!

Sometimes in the rush of moving and making decisions people decide to rent a storage unit. One note of caution is that things do deteriorate if stored too long. We have seen that once people move, they usually don’t go back and look through things in storage. And the cost of a storage unit is often more than what the items are worth. On the other hand, if you have a large collection of expensive items to sell, storing them can be a good idea. This gives you time to find the right source for liquidating your valuables. But make a promise to yourself to store things for no longer than a year!

Remember to take time and take care of yourself during this sorting process! Take breaks to see your friends and family to get your mind off of the impending move. Drink plenty of water, eat regular meals, and get help you can trust. It breaks our hearts when clients push themselves to exhaustion, or trip and fall and land in the hospital. This adds to the stress and expense of getting their home ready to move.


There are many things to consider if you will be selling your home. Start scheduling to have repairs done now. Take a look around the attic and basement to determine if there has been a leak or an issue that needs attention. Will you sell "as is" or update to make it more marketable? You want your house to look the best when it goes on the market and it’s nice to enjoy those improvements before you move out.

Consider the best time to put your house on the market. In our experience, it is best to plan your move in order to have one if not several weeks to empty out the house. If you can wait to sell your home until after you move, this is the best option. That gives you plenty of time be sure that you have everything you want in your new home. Rushing to get out of the house can cause you to leave something behind that you realize you really wanted to keep!

Copyright 2014 Christine Smart


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