Tips for downsizing a home
With our current lifestyles being that of pack-up-and-go, increasing globalisation and remote working from anywhere in the world, and the need to save money in uncertain economic times, many people are now downsizing – not just decluttering but moving into smaller homes that fit their lifestyle. In many cases, less is more and downsizing your home can be the right move at any stage of life depending on your goals and needs.
You may find that moving into a smaller home makes the most sense once the kids are gone, or maybe you’re a young singleton or couple who’d like more money to retire early or travel. Since there are so many reasons to downsize, here’s a guide to downsizing your home efficiently and to live clutter-free.
1. Pace yourself
Plan your decluttering so that it is not overwhelming at the last minute. The goal is to find a balanced way to end up with possessions that you actually need to keep around and give you joy. Avoid putting your things into storage as if they are going to be stored, it means you do not need them. Do the task it at a pace that keeps you level-headed.
2. One room at a time
Decluttering and downsizing your home can be made easier by creating a schedule to break down into manageable projects like doing a room at a time. If you leave everything to the last minute, you are opening yourself to failure and a waste of time and emotions.
3. Measure your new space
To downsize effectively it is important to understand the space you are moving into so that you set aside the furniture you want and you can determine what cannot be moved with you.
4. Consider your new lifestyle
It may be hard to imagine if you’re not a creative person but consider the bigger picture of what you’re hoping to gain from downsizing and how things would work in your new space. You should be considering not just what will fit physically but what items fit into what you want out of the home. Downsizing is an opportunity to reset, and to understand your core reasoning and goals that could help you stick to your plan and make you more excited about the process. The more specific your goals, the more effective they are in motivating you. By setting your intentions and goals ahead of time, you’ll have a much clearer view of what items will fit into your new lifestyle and home.
5. Ground rules
It is easy to put emotional value on many items, so make sure you stick to some strong ground rules when sorting through your furniture and items. The “Keep, Donate, Trash, Recycle, Sell, and Give Away” system works well in most cases. These piles will enable you to see what is viable for your new space and just how much you’ve collected over the years.
6. Sentimentality in moderation
We all have those sentimental items that we cling to, but they might not fit into any new space. For heirloom or sentimental furniture and decor pieces that you no longer have use for, try reaching out to family and friends to give the items a good home, especially if it’s an item you’d like to keep in your family. Digitise old photographs and make digital memory boxes on the cloud. Make sure that all your valuables are stored properly and in a way that preserves them. Don’t hang onto sentimental clutter.
7. Start reducing
Stop buying anything new when you know you’re going to be downsizing. Aside from perishables and things you might need immediately, stop making large purchases, including furniture and extras for the house. These items just become things you will have to cart from one house to the next, not knowing where they will go. So, be clear on what you will do with each item in your new space.
8. Eliminate rooms you won’t have in your new home
Stop storing all your children’s items!! If they haven’t used them in years and have no interest in taking them on, it is time to let them go.
9. Be ruthless but realistic
Be realistic about your possessions and what is useful, and what is not. Some things that hold a sentimental value may be useful or not, weigh up the pros and cons.
10. Allow some time to reminisce
Finally, you need to understand that you are ending an era of your life. Give yourself space and time to remember the good times and the memories attached to things you are about to let go – including the home itself. Your life has been a series of journeys and you can allow yourself the energy to say goodbye, as bizarre as it may come across to people who don’t share the same kind of sentimentalities as you do.
How do I downsize my home?
Start slowly and be deliberate about downsizing.
When is the best time to downsize homes?
When you are ready for a large life shift.