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Five ways to downsize your home

Whether you find yourself in this situation, or you are helping someone else, downsizing is not always an easy process. 

Here are five strategies to help you along the way

1. Assess what you actually need and start small

Take a good look at how you live your daily life and what activities and events are part of your lifestyle. This may seem an overwhelming task. To break it down start with areas in your home you don’t use as much, such as a spare room. Ask yourself the question, ‘have I used this in the past year and, if so, how often?’ Then sort items into four piles, keep, sell, give or throw away.

Then you need to decide what you take with you, what to sell, what will be passed on to family or donated to charity.

2. Take photos of things you like

You can keep the memory of the item without having to store it. For anything you really have a hard time getting rid of, make an agreement with yourself. Put the item into storage, and if you don’t use it within six months, give, sell or throw it away.

3. Assess your new home

Obtain a room layout of your new home to check that your furniture will fit. Use a tape measure to measure your existing furniture and see if and where it will fit in. If you’re downsizing for retirement, consider single-level properties, just in case climbing stairs becomes a problem in the future.

4. Be kind to yourself or the person who is moving

Moving isn’t easy and can be both physically and emotionally tiring. This is especially relevant if you are downsizing and moving from a family home you have lived in for years. Allow time for yourself or your relative to remember. Belongings often contain memories, so take the time to reflect to help you let go of things.

Once you’ve got yourself organised and packed your home, celebrate the next stage of your life. Do something you enjoy, such as going out for dinner.

5. Hire help if you need it

If you can afford it consider getting help packing up, moving everything and cleaning your house. This will reduce your workload and stress levels.

Downsizing can simplify your life and free up some extra money. A smaller place is easier to maintain and may be located closer to services, shops and public transport.

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