Southern Staging: Getting old, downsizing ain’t for Sissies


By Nan Johnston, Southern Staging & Redesign

Over the past 10 years of helping sellers prepare their properties for the real estate market, I’ve had the pleasure to work with Senior Citizens that are downsizing to a smaller home or moving into a retirement community, whether it be an Active Adult Community with Club House & amenities or a Continuing Care Retirement Community.

It’s a new phase in life on the rise and there seems to be a common denominator with all of these situations.

• Most residents are GREATLY downsizing to a much smaller space than they are leaving.  It’s important to count the number of closets in your new space, the kitchen cabinet space, is there a garage, etc. when selecting items to make the move.

• It’s difficult to wrap their heads around what to bring to the new home and this is a difficult task. Most residents need help making some tough choices.   Adult children can help, but often live far away or have busy lives and sometimes decisions have to be made quickly. Hiring a professional organizer or having a good friend go through your things and ask “when was the last time you used this” is a HUGE help in making this decision.

• Having measurements and photos of furniture that will be making the move is most helpful in space planning.  Using a camera phone to take photos will be a big help if you have someone planning your furniture placement.

• Sentimental items must be ruthlessly edited to fit into the new space and most will over pack. Many will find themselves having to re-edit once they have moved into the new smaller space.  The family china or pieces of furniture that their father hand built are often being culled out and this is an emotional journey. Be prepared for this part.

Two of the “mantras” as I call them, are the same when packing to move as they are when staging to sell…

If you find yourself in this phase of life and need help, contact Southern Staging & Redesign.  We have the resources to help you get your property ready to sell and get you moved into your new smaller home.

Nan Johnston is a professional home staging consultant from Newnan with over 30 years experience in the real estate industry. Check out her website for some interesting before and after photos at To contact her, call 770-251-0608 or email her at [email protected].