When coping with the loss of a loved one, the last thing on your mind is moving. However, sometimes going to a new place can help you focus on new things and move forward. Downsizing after the loss of a loved one can come with many benefits, including freeing up home equity value that can be wisely invested to prepare for retirement or take care of pressing financial needs. Here’s how you can downsize and make a fresh start after coping with a loved one’s passing.

Save Money on Selling

One advantage of downsizing is that you can save some money. Financial stress often accompanies funeral and hospital expenses, and you can help ease some of these financial woes by moving. One major consideration when you look at selling your home is determining what level of legwork you can put into the selling process.

Hiring a real estate agent can save you the work of assessing your home’s value, marketing it across multiple platforms, screening buyers, and negotiating its price. This is a huge benefit since you’ll likely have many responsibilities.

Research Homes in Your Area

Another advantage of downsizing is that you won’t have to maintain such a large home on your own. One guide on conducting a market analysis to determine the value of your home suggests that the first thing you should do is write down the features of your home. This includes square footage, the age of the home, recent improvements, and unique amenities.

After that, you should look at resources that show housing prices. Narrow down properties with similar specifications; this can give you a ballpark estimate for how much your home might be worth. Homes in Naples, Florida, have sold on average for $324,000 in the last month.

Recruit Loved Ones to Help

Loved ones can help in a variety of ways. They can help you with the initial cleanup and packing process of your home, or they can help you move. Having loved ones assist you with packing will help you throw out some of your loved one’s items since they are not as attached to these sentimental items as you are.

Something you can do to make the move quick is to make sure that everything is already packed up when people show up to help. This requires some time investment on your part, but if people know that things are already good to go, it reduces the time required to move.

Clean Up the Closet

You will have to learn how to throw out or give away your loved one’s clothes — they are typically the first things to get rid of. Do simple things to conserve space, such as utilizing door and wall space to hang organizers or hang up bags and luggage. This can help you to free up space on the ground and organize the closet more efficiently. Additionally, this can streamline a move and really help when you move into a place that is a bit smaller.

Know Which Items to Keep and Discard

Some of the items to throw out will typically include things that can’t be used anymore. An article on downsizing from The New York Times explains how to move things out and start moving on. These tips include using a timer to work for short bursts over a regular interval or calling a company to come and pick up your donations. Giving yourself deadlines can ensure that real progress is made and that things are done in a timely manner.

For some families, downsizing gives them a chance to spend more quality time together or save money on monthly costs. Downsizing is an opportunity to grow and adapt in new ways. It takes effort, but a new project can help you have a new purpose and something to focus on.


Guest Post Author Lucille Rosetti created as a means of sharing tools to help people through the grief process. Having lost some of the people closest to her, she understands what it’s like and how it can be an emotional roller coaster that doesn’t always seem to make sense. She’s currently writing a book, Life After Death: A Wellness Guide for the Bereaved.