Whether you are an empty nester looking to cut down to a more manageable property or have to cut down to a smaller size property for other reasons, it can be difficult both emotionally and practically to squeeze your life and possessions into a smaller space.
Here are 5 steps to help you downsize:
List the items of sentimental value that you just can’t get rid of and make a list of practical items that you simply can’t do without. If you didn’t think of an item while writing your list and simply come across it while packing, think of why that item didn’t pop into your head in the first place. Have you even used it in the past year? If not, maybe it’s not that vital.
Starting at least 3 months in advance if you can, take a small amount of time each day to tackle one area – the bedroom wardrobe, a particular bookcase etc. That way you won’t get overwhelmed by trying to do the whole thing at once.
Paperwork takes up a vast amount of space. Is there a way you could scan or digitise your paperwork so that you don’t have to store mountains of paper? Perhaps use a scanner and put all the paperwork on an external hard drive? Just make sure that you have backed up your data in several different places, so you won’t lose important paperwork. You could also request that your bank statements and bills come to you only in online or digital format from now on, so that you don’t add to the paperwork problem going forward.
If you already know where you’ll be moving to, make sure to figure out if your current furniture will fit in the new space. You could get a feel for the new rooms by comparing rooms of similar dimensions in your present home. For example, your new reception room might be roughly the same size as your current bedroom. Alternatively, you could use a floorplan to measure out the new room sizes in your current home and use string to delineate the room borders. Now does your current furniture fit? Do you need to replace it or just cut down?
Recycle, reuse, sell and donate items you are no longer using. You could sell unwanted items at a car boot sale to make some extra money, pass things you can no longer use to friends or family or donate the unwanted items to charity shops. At Northfields we have helped clients to downsize in the past and even arranged to have the British Heart Foundation collect furniture with a free collection service.
At Northfields we know that sometimes downsizing can be hard, but if you tackle it one bit at time, it needn’t be overwhelming.
If you are looking to sell your home to find somewhere smaller or looking for the perfect downsized property to buy, we can help. Call us on 020 8740 6622 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for help and advice on downsizing or to request a no obligation valuation of your home. It’s free, it’s no fuss and it might help you to decide if downsizing is the right option for you.