Are you thinking of downsizing? In this blog we cover common reasons for downsizing, and some tips for how to prepare for your smaller home.
Why do people downsize?
Downsizing is not always a bad situation connected to financial troubles. Many move to a smaller home after their children have left for University as they don’t need the extra bedrooms. Others may prefer to be in a smaller home once elderly, as the smaller the property the less maintenance needed. Elderly people may also choose to move to a Bungalow for mobility issues as the lack of stairs makes it easier to get around.
Whatever your own reason for downsizing, knowing what to move from your larger house to your new smaller home can be difficult. We’re here to help.
The key to success is organisation. Walk round your house with a notepad and pen, and jot down lists of items you’ll take with you and any that you can part with. This can be very difficult, as over the years you may have accumulated a lot, and many probably have sentimental value. When you’re downsizing it’s not like a usual house move where you take everything with you, it will take longer as you have to decide if you’re bringing along each and every item. Therefore you don’t want to be leaving this step until the end.
Furthermore, the items you decide not take with you will need to be removed. This takes time, and may involve multiple trips to the tip and charity shops, or selling what you can online.
Sometimes items you own are used for particular rooms, for example you may have a large unit in the hallway for shoe and coat storage, but would this fit in your smaller home? If you’re moving to somewhere with no grass in the garden, or no garden at all, you won’t need your lawn mower anymore.
If there are fewer bedrooms, you won’t need as many beds and mattresses so you could sell or give these away on websites like Gumtree, or to charities which accept furniture. What about ornaments, will the number you own look cluttered in your new place?
Study the floor plan of your new home you’re going to move to. Bear in mind the measurements for the rooms aren’t likely to be 100% accurate but you can at least get an idea. Measure any furniture you’d like to take with you to ensure it will fit in the designated spaces in the new home. You’re likely to be able to view the new property again if you ask, bring along a tape measure and notepad and measure all the spaces you need to.
Nowadays many furniture shops sell clever space saving furniture, so if your current items don’t fit it’s a good idea to have a look around a few shops. There are also simple space saving ideas which will be more suitable for those on a budget. Ensure you use any under-bed storage to the maximum capacity, and consider purchasing vacuum bags to help with this.
Alternatively, if you really can’t part with some items but also they don’t fit in the new place, you could consider a storage company to place the items that aren’t essential but that you don’t want to get rid of.
Sifting through your belongings and choosing what to keep and what can go is one of the hardest parts of downsizing. It doesn’t have to be stressful; you can get a feel good factor by donating to charity, or even make some money by selling on second hand sites. Good luck!
I began writing for Property Press Online in October 2019. Particular areas of interest are housing market news and new developments in the market.