How to Downsize Successfully

young-man-choosing-book in garage sale
Added on June 1st 2021

Many seniors decide to downsize their home to make their lives easier and to release equity. It’s a huge life-step and so it’s important to do it as smoothly and effectively as possible.
Here are some tips to help you through this process.

Start decluttering early

You can guarantee that this will take longer than you imagine. You won’t be able to get it done in a week, so aim for a month to six weeks and take it one room at a time.

Start with the easier rooms

The loft, the kitchen and the garage are the worst places to start as that’s often where the memory items are. Old Christmas decorations, sporting trophies and hobby equipment can be hard to part with, so start off with more utilitarian area like the spare bedroom or the pantry.

Think about the rooms that won’t be in your new home

If you’re moving from a four-bedroomed house to a two-bedroomed apartment, then you’ll only need two beds. Similarly, if you won’t have a home office, you might not need your desk and ergonomic chair.
Look for duplicate items and give one away
When you tackle your kitchen, for example, you’ll find that you have lots of almost-identical salad bowls, roasting pans, ladles and so on. It’s time to give extraneous items to the children and grandchildren if you’re sentimental or to a charity shop if you’re not.

Don’t say maybe

You should aim to have just a “yes” and a “no” pile, or else you’ll end up with small “yes” and “no” piles and a big “maybe” pile which together add up to absolutely no progress!
If you’re coming across possessions that you’d forgotten about, then the chances are that it’s time for them to move on, either to the grandchildren or to charity.

Hit up eBay or have a yardsale

You won’t make a huge amount of money, but you may well shift a lot of stuff with not much effort, especially if you offer most of the items as “buyer collects”.

Pass on your heirlooms early

If you always planned to pass on some pieces of jewellery, art or furniture to your children or grandchildren, then why not do it as part of your downsizing? It’ll free up space and spread happiness at the same time.

Do spend some time reminiscing

Occasionally, you’ll come across something that sparks some important memories, so give yourself time to talk about them. Old drawings from the kids’ school years, old toys, books, clothes and even seasonal decorations might spark an emotional reaction, so work through it – this is why you started the process early, after all.

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