For a lot of older homeowners today, downsizing can be a great way to have a good clear out after your kids have left home, but also a fantastic way to free up some equity from your home. This financial boost will most likely come with the added bonus of a reduction in running costs as you move to a smaller home.
While there are plenty of benefits of downsizing, moving home can still be a complex and stressful experience, so we’ve put together a quick guide on what to consider to help make your move a much smoother transition.
Decide what you REALLY need
The most important step to a successful downsize – and a step you’ll want to take as early as possible – is taking a good look at all of your possessions and cutting away as much as possible. This is the part where you have to consider your day to day life and think about how much you use all of these items. You should ask yourself; do you still need all of that seating in the living room, or do you need such a large dining table? If the answer is ‘no’ to these sorts of questions, then it’s time to start dividing item into the ‘keep’ and ‘get rid of’ piles.
While it may be hard at first to get tough on some sentimental possessions, you’ll benefit when you have less stuff to move and won’t have to worry so much about how you fit all of it in to your next home.
Don’t Throw Anything Away
Once you’ve decided which items don’t belong in the ‘keep’ pile, it’s time to see if you can get some extra cash for your unwanted possessions. Obviously, there will be some items that may not be fit for use anymore and would be better off taken to be recycled, but the items that are in good condition can be used to help fund new items more suitable for your smaller home.
As we said earlier, separating your items early is the best strategy as you will now have plenty of time to use websites such as Gumtree and Ebay to sell them. You might be surprised by the how much interest some of your items generate and how much money they bring in.
Assess Your New Space
At this point you should have divided your items and possibly sold a few of them generating some extra cash. Even though you’ve probably gotten rid of a lot of possessions, it may still be a challenge fitting everything that remains into your smaller space.
If you’re already part way through the moving process and have agreed on which house you’re going to buy, start looking at measurements of each room and compare them against the measurements of your furniture. Your King size bed may fit into your new bedroom, but will it leave room for much else? Start planning how everything is going to fit in and figure out how to get the absolute most out of each space. You may need to invest in smaller and more suitable items for your home such as a dining table that seats 4 instead of 8.
Prepare For The Big Day
Last time you moved home it was most likely into a house of roughly the same size or bigger, however, this time you have to consider that you’ll have less space to work with, meaning it won’t be just as simple as getting everything in and unpacking it later.
Whether you want to label all your boxes with ‘Living room’, ‘bedroom’ etc. or use a colour coded system, it’s best to know what goes where before you begin shifting everything. As with any move, it’s wise to move the bigger items such as beds and chairs first, as this will give you a better idea of where to place all the small things.
Normally when a family moves into a bigger space they initially use the extra room to store things they’re too tired to unpack right away. If you’re downsizing then you probably won’t have room for a bunch of items to be out of sight and out of mind, so you should begin unpacking and organising all of your items as soon as you can. Moving into a smaller place and being surrounded by boxes for the first couple weeks will only ruin the experience for you by making it feel even smaller. Get organised early and get the full use out of your new home.