In the midst of the holiday season, the hustle and bustle can begin to feel a bit too much. Between the gift exchange with all your friends and families, preparing the house for guests and dusting off your seldom-used china, the busyness of the season can bring about the realization that the things, people and places that used to fuel your energy may no longer fit who you are or what you want.
If you are starting to feel this way, ask yourself what is holding you back from making a change. Is it some outdated notion that cutting back on the quantity of your possessions or the size of your home will change how others perceive you? Could you be living with an outdated notion of what success or happiness looks like? Maybe you are ready to enjoy time visiting family and friends, traveling to new places with different experiences or spending time on a freshly discovered hobby—anything other than spending your time and money on home upkeep and maintenance.
In today’s world, what used to be called “downsizing” is rapidly being replaced with the word “rightsizing,” and for good reason. Rightsizing implies that this is a healthy and highly personalized process—one that each couple or individual may decide to undertake and then accomplish at their own pace and in their own way.
That being said, no one can tell you exactly how to decide you are ready to downsize or give you a concise plan on how to make this process fit you and your needs.
Wherever you are in the process of mastering the mature living time of life, we hope you will take advantage of our new mature lifestyle section. Over the next few months, we will be including a series of articles about “rightsizing.” These articles will include information to help you recognize if you are ready to rightsize your life, figure out what environment is best suited for your next chapter, follow practical steps to begin simplifying your belongings and learn how to manage the varied emotions that arise during the process.
The remainder of this initial Rightsizing Your Life section is about paying attention to the daily things that are most meaningful and useful to you, and asking yourself, “Does my current lifestyle and home support the things that are most meaningful to me? What fits the current ‘me’ and what no longer works for me?” If more of your daily lifestyle and environment comes out not fitting, then maybe it is truly time to rightsize your life?
Here are some lifestyle and environment questions to ask yourself:
- Are you living in a home with more rooms that aren’t being used than ones that are?
- Do you find yourself avoiding the thought and expense of making your old home fit your new lifestyle?
- Do you have a two-story home and find yourself spending most of your time on one of the two floors?
- Are you wishing the kitchen you remodeled 20 years ago had all the newest conveniences and amenities?
- How many times in the last year have you avoided completing routine house maintenance or chose to call an outside handyman, or maybe even just let it go, when you used to always be on top of it all?
- Has your neighborhood grown so that you can no longer easily jump in the car to grab groceries or go out to dinner?
- Are their new hobbies or activities you would like to try but can’t find someone to go with or a place to get started?
- Do you have children and grandchildren growing up further away than is easy for you to reach by car or easy for them to visit you?
- Do you think about wanting more control over how your next move unfolds?
As you share in the usual end-of-year holiday festivities, be mindful of how your current situation fits your evolving needs. Make your 2018 New Year’s resolution to find the right fit and size for you.