Downsizing Seminar and Resident Panel Discussion

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Recently RiverMead hosted a well-attended Downsizing Seminar. Two of our new RiverMead residents spoke about their downsizing experience, followed by a presentation given by Jan Eaton, Director of Marketing and Resident Services, and Jennifer Coles, Manager of Sales and Marketing.

Downsizing Presentation RiverMead

The first panelist, Donna Dickstein, moved to RiverMead with her husband Craig from Cartuck, Maine.  Her advice is- cleanout is work, it takes time, so start when you come on to the waitlist. They used the guideline of - “yes - keep” items, and “no - don’t keep” items.  They did not allow “maybe” items!  They had family come first to label the things they wished to inherit, and were encouraged “to take their stuff now!” Donna says, “Stop storing items for your children, they don’t want it!”   They were able to get rid of a fair amount of items on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and E-bay. They had mantras; “making money off this stuff is a bonus; the real gift is not leaving this project to our children”.

The second panelist was Rob Stephenson, a lifelong bachelor, and an “only child” from Jaffrey, he told us not only did he have his estate to downsize but also all the items he had inherited from his parents, aunts, and uncles. He has been downsizing for years, but moving to RiverMead and putting his house for sale meant he needed to finish the job. Knowing he had things of value, Rob used a local auctioneer who hosts a national online auction site, providing a wide audience.

He also used an estate sale company. They are liquidators in the sense that they get rid of everything … even leftover food in the cupboards. They handle all the setup, pricing, advertising, staging, and clean-up. The sale took place over a two-day period.  The estate sale company takes 35% percent of the sales, but well worth it. It saved Rob time and energy.

He also donated to his local Lions Club who holds an annual yard sale.

Jan and Jennifer were up next with our presentation entitled “Downsizing with Purpose” The What, How, and Why!  Their tips are:

  1. It takes longer than you think
  2. It is work and takes energy
  3. It is an emotional journey- give yourself time to honor that journey
  4. Procrastination is not your friend
  5. What you LOVE will come with you
  6. Give yourself permission to let go and get started
  7. DON’T GET STUCK WITH YOUR STUFF- hire a professional downsizer if you feel stuck or overwhelmed. That is a gift to yourself.


Jan and Jennifer give this presentation two times a year to a full audience. They are both passionate about this hot topic. If you have any questions or need advice about downsizing, do not hesitate to reach out to them. They can be reached at 603.924-8611 or give us a call for a reservation for our next presentation on October 8, 2021- Downsizing with Purpose!

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