The Boom of Downsizers

My best friend’s parents were having a garage sale. Both kids were out of the house and they were now empty nesters. Not yet retired, but definitely tired of owning and maintaining a home, the parents were excited to be off-loading years of stuff they had accumulated. That’s when fate struck. “Is this a downsizing sale? Are you selling your home as well?” My friend’s parents looked at each other. “Both?” said her mother, less-than-confidently.

It happened rather quickly after that. They arranged the sale of the home to the garage-sale-customer-turned-new-homeowner and within a short period of time, they left the suburban town they had called home for the last 20+ years. They moved into a high rise apartment in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota.

Some summer evenings, they sit on their deck and listen to music rising up from the park beneath them. My friend’s mom found a different job a 5 minute walk via the skyways. The couple also owns a cabin in Wisconsin; a lake home if you will. Instead of having to maintain two properties...they escape the city on summer weekends and kick back!

It would probably be easier to just clone your house than it'll be to downsize all of your possessions, TBH.

It’s a growing trend that Baby Boomers (those born between 1946-1964), are shedding their homes in the ‘burbs and moving into major cities.

“In a new study, apartment search website RentCafé predicts that by 2035 we will witness a major demographic shift in renting, as 60+ renters will make up around 31% of the total renter population.” - (Source)

Something that is extremely interesting about this phenomenon is that children of baby boomers don’t want their parent’s stuff. The era of collecting trinkets or porcelain statues is coming to a close. Children of boomers are more likely to collect experiences rather than things. They’d rather spend time with friends and family, than spend money on antiques. And that leaves a lot on the table. Or the actual table itself. And chairs. And the sideboard.

“If it’s hard to admit that even the things we love have a price, it’s even more difficult to learn that the price is actually far less than we imagined it to be.” Try to imagine what you must admit when, through no fault of their own, the people you love can’t see or share the value you attach to your things. -(The Observer)

People who are downsizing from their large suburban home to a smaller condo or apartment in the city should know THESE TIPS:

(According to

  • Know what style and size apartment you’re moving into

  • Measure all the furniture pieces you want to take with you

  • Prioritize multi-functional furniture pieces (especially in smaller apartments) and freestanding storage options/shelves

  • Evaluate what clothing you want to keep and get rid of

  • Go through all of your books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items

  • Consider any included amenities in your new apartment community

  • Picture what you want your new apartment to look like if you’re ever stuck in your decision-making process

Here’s the biggest take-away from all of this: "You're simplifying your life, not erasing your past." (-Marni Jameson, author)
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