Downsizing: from daunting to doable

Downsizing from your home into a smaller one can be a daunting task. Regardless of your reasons for downsizing, the move can be made easier with some careful preparation and direction.

Develop a plan

When looking to downsize, assess your future needs, look at all the options and be well informed. Consider the features that may not be vital to you now, but that may mean more to you later, such as access to public transport and proximity to shops, restaurants and community services.

If you are looking to settle close to family or friends, make sure you will be equally happy in your chosen location if they move on.

Understand your new space

A reduction in the size of your home will force you to reconsider your furnishings and belongings. Get a feel for the space in your new home by using rooms of comparable size in your existing home as a guide. Use a floorplan to sketch a rough furniture layout, this will allow you to decide what to keep and what to let go of.

If you have the opportunity, take photographs and measurements of the rooms and storage areas in the new property to help prepare for the move.

Take the opportunity to simplify

Downsizing offers the perfect opportunity to simplify. Take time to look around your home and think about the items you love and use, sentimental or practical. People often keep things they think they may need someday, but these are commonly the same pieces that remain unused for years.

When sorting, be decisive and try to handle each item just once to minimise the risk of retaining excess belongings. Be ruthless with the areas of your home that have less emotional pull, such as the kitchen, garage and shed. Dispose of anything that is damaged or not worth fixing and donate or sell others.

It can also be helpful to involve family members in the sorting process. Gift treasured items to loved ones now rather than later, and let go of pieces you are holding onto with the hope others may one day want them.

Be both sentimental and smart

Photos, family memorabilia and collectables are hardest to let go of, as each tells a story, or brings back a memory. One solution is to preserve items using photo books and journals. While it may not be the same as holding the item, it is a space-saving alternative that can also be shared.

Old photos you wish to keep, which predate digital files, can be scanned onto your computer.

Consider help from a professional

Moving home is a significant life event and the transition can be overwhelming. If the idea of decluttering and sorting, packing and unpacking seems too much, consider help.

Companies such as Handled With Care offer a comprehensive range of services to individuals, couples and families. They provide beginning-to-end support and are sensitive to the emotional impact of relocating to ensure your move is well managed and stress free.

Article supplied by Handled With Care, which specialises in the co-ordination of retirement relocations, aged care relocations and deceased estates.

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