Moving from your current home into a smaller one can be a daunting, as well as an emotional task. Regardless of your reason or situation, the move can be made easier with some careful planning and preparation.
Whether you're moving from a larger house to an apartment, moving out of home for the first time or retiring into a smaller, more manageable property, downsizing your living space can be a chore. Image credit: Jim OConnor/sxc.hu
Create a Solid Plan When you're looking to move into a smaller home, take into account your future needs. Look at what options or features you actually use and what is relevant to your lifestyle right now, or will be in the future. Is it important for you to be close to the CBD for work, is public transport an option, how much proximity to shops, cafes and community services is necessary?
Are you looking to move closer to family or friends and will your move be convenient for your new lifestyle.
Think About Your New Space Reducing your living environment will force you to consider your belongings and furnishings. Get a feel for your new space and try and measure out a floor plan as a guide of where your furnishings will go in the new home. This will allow you to quickly identify which furnishings you'll need to keep and what you can get rid of or put into storage.
Downsizing is the perfect opportunity to simplify and shed a lot of bulk and unwanted or unused items. Image Credit: Steven Vilen/sxc.hu
Simplify The Bulk Moving into a smaller home gives you the perfect opportunity to simplify. Take time to look around your home and think about what items hold value to you, which are sentimental and or practical to keep.
So often people keep items under the guise that it could be useful one day.
If it hasn't been useful in the last 2 years, you can do without it.
Pay close attention to items that get put back into the back corners of cupboards, stuck high on shelves or stuck into boxes in the garage as you might be surprised at what you find.
When you sort through everything, try and be decisive and ruthless so that you don't hang on to excess belongings. Be particularly ruthless in areas of your home where less emotional items would have less pull such as the kitchen, bathroom, shed and garage.
Dispose of anything that is damaged or not worth fixing and donate or sell other items.
It can also be a worthwhile experience to get family members help you with the process as you can gift treasured items to family members and friends during that time. You can also let go of items that you're holding onto in hopes that one day someone might want them.
Consider using help from removalists. Image credit: K Krisviv/sxc.hu
Be Sentimental But Smart Photos, family memorabilia and collectibles are always the hardest things to cull back as each piece has a memory or a story attached to it. If possible, preserve them in a journal, or organise a photo box, scan old newspaper articles and throw away the newspaper, etc.
You'll not only save space, but you can more easily share your memories this way.
Consider Getting a Professional If the thoughts of de-cluttering, sorting and packing seems too much, consider hiring help. Many removalists offer packing assistance to ensure you move is stress free.
Great article with lots of useful tips. When I read about scanning newspaper articles and getting rid of the newspaper I suddenly realised I can use this idea to help me deal with a lot of cuttings etc I have. Thanks!
We downsized from a large acreage property to a small unit 6 months ago. Gave away most of our stuff and it was a real adjustment living in such a small place. Now we are planning on moving again soon, I wish we had put some of it in storage instead of giving away :)