Downsizing or Rightsizing - Helping Empty Nesters Make The Right Move

So how is ‘Rightsizing’ different to ‘Downsizing’?

Let me explain: Downsizing (verb). to make (something) smaller. Rightsizing (verb). to convert (something) to an appropriate or optimum size.

There’s an assumption that when children reach adulthood, they will have their own lives and move out of the family home. Their parents will instinctively ‘downsize’ and discard the possessions they’ve accumulated over the years, sell the house, and move into a smaller home that’s easier to maintain. Often it does not happen this way and we see people choose to live in their homes until the very end. The question is, is downsizing the right decision for all and what are the options?

Ultimately, your next move isn’t about downsizing or upsizing: it’s about what I like to call ‘Rightsizing’. It’s about minimising your stress levels and living in a property that suits your current needs. This could mean purchasing a smaller private property, living in an over 55’s community, a retirement village or even building a new granny flat in your backyard!

It is said that major change has a similar effect of trauma and I can say I have certainly seen this in many of our clients who leave it somewhat too late to move.

The change cycle follows the process; denial, anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance.


Our agent has indicated without this spend, the property in its current condition would sell for $1.5m, but with our spend of $220,000 the property will achieve $2.2m.

Immobilisation and denial is where I meet most of my clients.  "I don't know where to start", "I don't know who to trust". Most of our downsizers (or rightsizers) are stuck in the cycle of "It's too hard, so it is easier to stay".

There’s far more to this than what we find in a normal real estate transaction. People at this stage require nurturing, patience, understanding and they are also often the most loyal.

We have an example we are working on right now.  Our client built the house with her husband 45 years ago.  Right now it is extremely tired, one of the most in repair I have seen for quite some time.  Being such a large family home, the requirement to spend money to get it to a presentation standard was at the high end.  Our agent has indicated without this spend, the property in its current condition would sell for $1.5m, but with our spend of $220,000 the property will achieve $2.2m.

This is an enormous emotional rollercoaster for our client, after starting with trepidation at the Initial Appraisal we have carefully taken her through the required changes are we are getting through the project.  She will absolutely love the result and the freedom to finally release herself of the overwork and the worry of a large family home. She has bought a beachside apartment - and she can't wait now!

If you are considering leaving your family home and making the next move, you can find out more in my book Rightsize Your Home: The Empty Nester's Guide to a Stress-Free Downsize

About Belinda Woolrych

Belinda Woolrych-GrundyBelinda Woolrych is an Author, Speaker, and the Founder of Papillon Styling & Renovations. She published her first book, Rightsize Your Home: The Empty Nester's Guide for a Stress-Free Downsize, in 2014. Currently, Belinda runs the franchise operations of Papillon Styling & Renovations. You can contact Belinda on T:1300 870 272 or via email here.

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