By Hilary Nixon, RE/MAX Senior Public Relations Specialist

My parents just left for a four-month stay in the Sunshine State.

It's a good time to continue what I started a couple of months ago in "A Downsizing Story," and update everyone on their move. But I'm finding it hard. Because downsizing is hard.

You don’t have to be a psychologist to know that getting rid of a great deal of your possessions and moving the rest can be a difficult transition.

As a daughter, I'm having a tough time facing the fact that my parents are aging and my mom’s autoimmune disease dictates her daily routine more than any one of us would like to admit.

My parents’ downsizing is one of those things we're doing now because we know it will make life better down the road. But doing work for benefits you won’t see until later takes some willpower.

In my first post, I was helping my parents pack their home so they could transition from a four-bedroom home on six wooded acres to a two-bedroom townhome rental. We thought we'd done a pretty darn good job of selling, giving away or throwing away unwanted and unusable items. But let’s be honest. The new place looked like a box jungle for at least the first week and a half.

Let me give you an idea of what ensued for the next six weeks or so.

Unpack a box. Place certain items from the box in their new spot. Realize there is no spot for other items, and throw them in a pile to be sold, given away or thrown away OR – the worst option – put them back into the box, close the lid and put the box in the basement.

Put up some Christmas decorations.

Rustle through the boxes in the basement for the one small item you desperately need while praying it wasn’t sold, given away or thrown away.

Re-arrange the furniture.


Finally, reinforcements came in the form of my uncle – by far the most organized person in the family and newly retired. He sequestered himself in the basement until every box was painstakingly unpacked and its items were placed on one of several shelving units purchased. He even helped us take down all the Christmas decorations, which he ordered be done the day after Christmas. He was a godsend.

For their next step, my parents have to make some decisions. Will they start spending six months a year in Florida, which is easier on my mom’s lungs, or continue to spend half the year in Colorado where their grandchildren live and my mom’s doctors practice? If they plan to spend part of the year in Florida, will they continue to rent here in Colorado or go ahead and buy? I’ll keep you posted.