Most of us reach a stage in life where downsizing becomes the preferred or necessary option. If all your children have moved out of your large family home, there’s no point spending all that energy on the upkeep of unused space. Or, if you’d like a sea change, moving to an apartment or unit can often be a way to muscle into the real estate market in your dream destination.

Whatever your reason might be, downsizing can be both an exciting and a challenging time. You’ll have to make tough decisions on what items you keep, store or throw away. Luckily, we’ve put together a few tips to make your downsizing experience a little easier.

Declutter Your Home to Streamline the Downsizing Process

Just about everyone is prone to some sort of hoarding. We collect things throughout the course of our life, whether it be clothes, knick-knacks or DVDs. Even after you’ve stopped wearing that once-perfect pair of shoes, or left that must-have kitchen appliance in the back of the cupboard for years on end, you hang onto these items. Before you know it, you have cupboards and rooms full of clutter.

Decluttering before downsizing is essential. It allows you to fill your new, smaller home with the things you really need and love. Decluttering is all about removing the inessential, but it can be a hard process. We form attachments with stuff we don’t need, which is why you need a bit of expert help throughout the process. Luckily, there are a few simple rules you can follow, like the ‘One Year Rule’: if you haven’t used, worn or thought about it for over a year (and it doesn’t hold sentimental value), it’s time to get rid it!

Read our How to Declutter Before Moving House Checklist for more hints and tips.

Consider the Benefits of Storage

Of course, not everything is clutter, and you just won’t be able to fit all of your prized possessions into your new downsized life. This is where storage comes in. Storage is the perfect way to make the downsizing process a little more comfortable. You don’t have to part with your valuables, and you enjoy peace of mind knowing that they are safe.

Storage also gives you the freedom to move things in and out of your home. For instance, you may not think you want your piano in your new home. But, if after a couple of months, you get the itch to play some music, you can just move your piano back in. You can even store your car, boat or motorcycle and pull them out whenever you feel the urge to go for a drive, sail or ride. Good storage providers offer re-delivery services, so you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to pick up your belongings.

Downsizers often worry about the safety of their belongings, but you really don’t need to. Storage spaces have come a long way from the cages or bricked rooms of old. You can now find storage spaces with features like climate control, alarm systems, and even protection against, dust, damp, pests and fire. You can also ask for free condition reports, so you’ll always know exactly how your items are faring.

If you’re worried about the cost of storage, you need to think of it as an investment. It means you don’t have to dispose of things and replace them at a later date. Plus, it helps keep your items in perfect condition.

Pack with Downsizing in Mind

You need to devote time and effort into your downsizing project to ensure your items make it through transit in one piece. Follow these tips to pack for downsizing:

  • Make an inventory of everything you’ll be packing
  • Make a separate list of any fragile items that need particular attention
  • Gather all necessary packing materials, such as bubble wrap, packing tape, new moving boxes and plastic wrap
  • Wrap each item separately and ensure each box is reinforced at the base and the top
  • Carefully label each box, and cross-check the contents against your inventory.

Last but not least, make sure you download our Moving House Packing Tips.

Plan Your Space

If you’re moving into a smaller home, you need to map out the space and ensure there is sufficient space for all your furniture. The best way to do this is to visit your new home, making sure to take along a tape measure. This way you can measure the dimensions of the rooms and make comparisons with your existing furniture.

There’s no point lugging old furniture along to your new house, only to discover that it just won’t fit. So be sure you go through this step before you move anything. You should also provide your removals team with a floor plan, so they can set everything up for you in exactly the way you want it.

Make Some Money and Save The Environment

If you’re left with items that you don’t want to store or move to your new home, don’t just put them out for hard rubbish or pop them in the bin. Old furniture and household belongings place a huge stress on already overflowing landfill spaces. Instead, sell or donate your items.

Your couches, beds, clothes and other items might be exactly what someone else is looking for. If you sell these items, you can make a tidy little profit to help fund decorating your new home. Alternatively, if you donate them, you’ll be able to enjoy the fact that someone else is making good use of your favourite things.

Read through our Downsizing Decisions – How to Seamlessly Move Into a Smaller Home guide for even more information.

Downsizing can feel like far more work than it actually is. While parting with some possessions, packing and shortlisting removalists can be difficult at first, it’s a lot easier once you start. To take the stress out of your downsizing, contact Kent Removals & Storage today!