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Downsizing Cast of Characters

Written by Becky Lipnick, Communications Coordinator 

The holidays are a great time of year to make downsizing decisions. Unlike a Norman Rockwell painting, however, not everyone may be cheery-eyed about the plan.

This Thanksgiving, look around at the faces of the friends and family in front of you. This dinner table makes up the cast of eclectic, opinionated characters taking part in your downsizing saga.

The Mother Hen

One family member is the motivator for the downsizing project. Often the matriarch of the household, she tries to organize the other parties. The Mother Hen is tired of her “empty” nest being cluttered & is looking forward to migrating to Florida with nothing but her tail feathers. Her determination is strong, but the responsibility of caring for chicks can get in the way of her valiant efforts.

The Grouch

This is the person, perhaps the patriarch of the family, who doesn’t want to deal with downsizing, & wants the project to go away. “Just throw it out!” is his favorite tag line. He is sick of holding onto items for his kids, his spouse, and pretty much anyone besides himself. The Grouch will complain excessively & can only be forced to help out in any productive way through intense coercion.

The Brats

The Brats, also known as the Mother Hen’s offspring and the unpaid moving committee, have the brawn to help with downsizing, but not the motivation. Sure, they are happy to let her store their stuff, but they have no interest in going through what they want and what they don’t want. The Grouch complains about them constantly. The Mother Hen patiently builds a Hope Chest (full of family china, silver, linens, and other home goods) for her chicks should they ever decide to get married. The kids do NOT want these things. Further, as much as they may mock the Mother Hen for saving their old 4th grade watercolors and 10th grade debate trophies from the clutches of The Grouch, they are sometimes reluctant to truly let go of their childhood trinkets.

The Hoarder

Just as there is always a Grouch, there is always a Hoarder. The Hoarder is famous for her catch-phrase, “But you might use that someday!” & “I saw a great way to reuse that on Pinterest!” Some of the Hoarder’s ideas are good. Sadly, she is ultimately too attached to the idea of refinishing and re-purposing everything, to actually assist in throwing things out. She means well, but cannot be trusted with throwing things away no matter how hard the Mother Hen tries to convince her it’s for the best. Ironically, she is generally the only person excited to “help” downsize.

The Cookie Monster

Another staple of any downsizing cast is the Cookie Monster. Perhaps wonderful in other respects, the Cookie Monster has an obsessive hunger for the “cookies” (i.e., valuable objects) of the home. The Cookie Monster may be unwilling to help with the move, but, he is eager to pounce upon the rewards. Sometimes he will make up a story about how Grandma really wanted him to have an object they willed to someone else, but mostly the Cookie Monster simply tries to get what he wants by yelling “Cookies!” until the others give in. When dealing with a Cookie Monster, make sure to keep your cookie jar under lock and key!

Who are you in this cast of characters?

Who are you? Are we spot on the nose, or do you see other variations of the Downsizing Cast? All these descriptions are just for fun, but let us know about your experiences in the comments!

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Showing 6 comments
  • Bill

    You forgot “The Schlep” –
    He’s the brother/ cousin who owns a pickup truck and can’t say no. Genetically there are elements of the Cookie Monster in his makeup. He will always help out but silently he knows that he may end up with some good loot that nobody else wants or claims.

  • Magnusson

    Thanks for the addition, Bill! We hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  • Chris

    OMG! So right! We have been in the business of estate liquidation for years and the worst estates are those with all of your players!! Love this…

  • Magnusson

    Chris, thanks for the response! We love to hear from other estate companies and get your feedback. I hope Virginia is treating you well.

  • Marilyn

    Enjoyed your interpretation and you’re on point! Especially, ‘The kids do NOT want these things.’ We run an auction/estate sale company and that’s the first line we hear when meeting a potential client.

  • Magnusson

    Yes, we hear that all the time as well! I hope you have a good holiday.

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