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Trending Now: 7 Tips for Downsizing Your Home

March 17, 2017 at 3:01 pm Nick Stillman 0 Tips & Tricks

Downsizing your home can be incredibly liberating. The possessions we accumulate over time are what make us, but as you grow, what you own and what you actually need will likely change – sometimes dramatically. However, letting go of things can be difficult. Whether you are an empty nester with children who have recently moved out, a renter moving into a smaller apartment, or you’re simply moving homes and want to cull some of your clutter, downsizing is likely to cause you some degree of stress, but it needn’t be if you make a plan and stick to it. Here is a list of seven helpful tips to help you on your way.

Thinking Ahead

Downsizing requires quite a bit of planning in a few different area. One of the key processes here is thoroughly scoping out your new home and deciding what you physically have room for. The last thing you want is to go through the hassle of moving, only to realize you have an excess of stuff that will need to be thrown out. You may want to create a detailed plan of your new space, and pencil in your current possessions and where they might go. This may also lead to you assessing your new home with a designer’s eye and the realization that some of your furniture may not work in your home-to-be. You don’t want to be stuck with an old couch that looks horrendous in a new home!

new home

The Things You Love

Before going through everything you own and creating a big mess, sit down and write a list of the things you love and would absolutely never throw out. When downsizing, you have to be quite ruthless, but this process will help you determine which items will definitely make the cut and what will be in your ‘maybe pile’ (in the end, most of this will have to go).

An outside opinion will usually be exactly what you need to finally say goodbye to your possessions.

Start Culling Early

The downsizing process can be a long one, especially if you have been living in your home for quite some time (empty nesters, this mainly concerns you!). As a rule, leave yourself 3-4 months time leading up to the move for you to go through your possessions and start culling. Sorting through paper files and old photographs can be an excruciatingly arduous process, and while it might seem easier to just throw it all away, you may risk losing some important documents. You will also need to consider the time you will need to spend getting rid of larger items that cannot simply be thrown away in the trash. That brings us to…

new home

Recycling

It is your duty to recycle your old possessions responsibly. Again, it may seem easier to just take everything to the tip and be done with it. But it is crucial that you reduce your impact on the environment in every way possible, and recycling your old stuff is the best way to do this. Offer items to friends or neighbors. Give furniture or clothes to charity. Take stacks of old newspaper to a recycling facility. It may mean a little extra effort, but recycling will make you feel good and the whole downsizing process more positive.

As a rule, leave yourself 3-4 months time leading up to the move for you to go through your possessions and start culling

Get An Outside Opinion

Your inner dialogue is rarely the voice of reason, especially when it comes to throwing out possessions. If you can’t make a quick decision, ask for an outside opinion. This is especially useful when you are really on the fence about something – something you’re attached to but know you won’t actually need. An outside opinion will usually be exactly what you need to finally say goodbye.

Furniture Packages

If you are moving out of a family home into an apartment, you might want to consider getting rid of your entire furniture set. Furniture packages are big in the property investment industry, but are also an excellent option if you are downsizing to a smaller place. If it’s a sleek modern apartment, there is a good chance that your old furnishings won’t quite work, and buying an entire package in one go will save a lot of time that would otherwise be spent pouring over catalogues and walking through stores and warehouses.

new home

Consider Selling Your Possessions

Recycling is very important, but for more high-end items, giving them away may not be very smart. Selling your possessions can take quite some time so it’s a good idea to start thinking about this in the early stages of your downsizing. You can sell your old electronics easily on trading websites or in pawn shops. If you own any antique furniture, keep an eye out for dealers – they can usually come to your home for an appraisal. You may even make a decent amount of money which can be put to good use buying new items in your new home.

Don’t let the downsizing process weigh you down. Think of it like shedding your skin, ready to move on to the next phase of your life. Hopefully these tips will help make this process a whole lot smoother, or even enjoyable! Good luck.

Nick Stillman

Nick Stillman is the content coordinator for Sydney-based creative digital agency If You Build It, working alongside their digital strategy and content marketing team.

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