Sociologist/time management consultant on the rush of Baby Boomers to new homes

A sociologist and time management consultant offers some thoughts about the upcoming years for many American Baby Boomers:

Jan Yager, a sociologist and time-management consultant, predicts that within the next decade “tens of millions” of baby boomers will sell their current homes and move to different abodes more suitable for retirement.

No matter where they plan to move, boomers who’ve lived in the same home for many years will face the enormous task of sifting through accumulations and upgrading their property for market. And all who try to tackle this project need a strategic plan to manage their time, says Yager, author of “Work Less, Do More,” a time-management book…

If possible, Yager encourages those who need to clear through a vast collection of belongings before selling to allow a full year for this project. But she’s aware that most sellers don’t have this much latitude and that they may need some help to expedite the process.

“It could be a good idea for you to hire a professional organizer,” says Yager, who recommends that home sellers consider seeking a local referral through the National Association of Professional Organizers (www.napo.net).

Four things strike me here:

1. Moving is not made easier after decades of consumption and accumulation. While our houses have gotten larger, our household sizes have gotten smaller, suggesting we need more space for our stuff or like more private space.

2. Is there a lot of potential for contractors and companies to offer remodeling or flipping services to Baby Boomers who don’t have the time to upgrade their own homes? New buyers have their own tastes and there could be a lot of money spent on upgrading homes built during the construction boom after World War II.

3. The potential move of so many Baby Boomers has the potential to have a large effect on demographics and other features of American life such as electoral politics, the housing industry, and advertisers. We’ve already seen some of this in Sunbelt growth in places like Florida and Arizona.

4. Americans have been known for their mobility, their interest in trying out new places and tackling new opportunities. Is this an extension of this spirit, another example of the American can-do spirit? Or more of a recognition that life truly changes as we age?

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