Ready to Downsize? Flamborough Connects has tips.

My husband and I decided to downsize after almost 30 years in a house and property far too big for our needs — even when we bought it.

But we loved it. We raised our son in this home, rescued several beloved cats and dogs, made many friends and became expert gardeners.

We also collected so much stuff that we were terrified we wouldn’t achieve our goal of a more modest lifestyle with less expenses.

It’s been stressful, mournful and invigorating, and we will move into our new home this month.

We are older adults — one of us is a legit senior at 70-plus — and saying goodbye to personal collections that include tools, artwork, furniture, books, photos, clothes, personal mementos and all the accumulated stuff of a life together in one spot has been an ordeal.

How many ladders and sets of china does one couple need?

We took it slow. We made our decision in January and started parting ways with stuff immediately. We cleared rooms by selling furniture on Facebook Marketplace, donating to thrift stores, holding garage sales and dumping the refuse — keys with locks long forgotten and boxes of documents (shredded) way past CRA rules of retention.

We gifted items of value to our children, grandchildren, friends and neighbours. We felt both sorrow and joy saying goodbye to our stuff.

By early May, we had staged the house and yard as well as we could and put it on the market. Luckily, we sold and bought our new little home and garden within a week. We viewed hundreds of potential spots throughout the Greater Hamilton Area online and in person.

We will remember this experience as we settle into our new home and for years to come. I have already forgotten the stuff we let go.

I am thankful my husband and I were able to do this together. We fought and cried — and kept our resolve to ensure we do not leave a mess of stuff for our family to manage once we can’t.

If you are considering downsizing, there are free tips and resources available online, or call Flamborough Connects to help you search for help.

Amelia Steinbring is the executive director of Flamborough Connects. She can be reached at 905-689-7880 or

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163 Dundas Street East Waterdown, Ontario Mailing address: P.O. Box 240, L0R 2H0 905.689.7880 1.800.297.3427

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