Get Ready to Downsize

Added on June 25th 2016

Get Ready to Downsize

If you’re at that stage of life when the kids have all left home and that cute cottage by the sea is calling louder than ever, you’re ready to get ready to downsize.

It’s not something you can do in a flash – hence the “ready to get ready” – it’s a process you can start months or even years in advance of your big move, and here’s how to make it painless.

Move the kids out completely

They have children of their own now, so why are you storing their yellowing cricket kits and chemistry books in the loft? Put them in a box by the door for their next visit.

Make it clear

When you start bagging up things for the dump or charity shop, use black bin bags and keep items that you want but only use once a year in clear or vacuum bags. You don’t want to throw out your winter clothes by accident.

Throw a party

Fill your tabletop with items you don’t need and get your friends and family round for drinks and a browse. Each person has to take at least one item; this is a good way to clear things out because you know they’re going to good homes.

Monitor your usage

This takes a few months, but is really helpful. Make a list of all the kitchen items you don’t use at least twice a week – your breadmaker, your huge tea urn or your coffee grinder, for example. Each time you use a utensil, tick its name and get rid of any that haven’t earned a tick after six months (unless they’re seasonal, of course).

Short and sweet

You’ve got time, so don’t spend days on sifting through your belongings. An hour or two once a week will do, and start on the simplest tasks first, like old magazines and books.

Don’t get packing

If you’re at least a few months away from your move, you don’t need to box things up. Think about it, if you can pack it away for six months, you probably don’t need it.

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