Downsizing is a growing movement that has captured the imagination of those who want to get more out of their life with less. Moving to a smaller house or apartment can bring a range of financial and lifestyle benefits. Changing to a home that better suits your needs can cut down on your clutter, your stress and your expenses all at the same time. The downsize option can suit people at any stage in life. Whether you’re a young couple without the need for extra rooms, a family looking to cut down expenses or empty nesters with a home too big to maintain, making the move to a smaller house or apartment can help you meet your goals.
Although a smaller home brings with it a lot of benefits, it can take a lot of work to. From selling your current place, finding a new one and cutting down on your possessions, there are a lot of steps to take in order to make it happen. The key to success is planning. In this guide, we’ll run you through the process and show you how to downsize and save money. If you need somewhere to store excess items after downsizing, or a helping hand during the move, get in touch with our friendly team. We offer free quotes for all our services, simply fill out the online quote request form
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How to plan for downsizing
Before you’ve even begun to search for places you’d like to move to, it’s important to set out a plan. A plan can help you to stay on track, see the big picture and not get too lost in the emotional and sometimes challenging daily aspects of the moving process. Your initial plan should set out your motives and goals for downsizing, what critical factors you need to consider it a success and what you want to avoid. If you’re doing this with a partner or family, ensure that everyone does this and that your plans align so that everyone is on the same page from the start.
The upside of a downsize
While creating your plan it’s essential that you keep in mind the many fantastic benefits of your decision. Staying mindful of the upside of a downsize will not only keep you motivated but also remind you what key things to be searching for in your house hunt. The advantages will be specific to your goals and circumstances. Some of the most popular motivations for downsizing include cutting down on your workload for house upkeep, reducing your overall maintenance costs and less expectation to host large social gatherings. For many people a downsize can also mean relocating closer to a city centre. This can bring with it a cut down in the use of your car, leading to lower petrol and servicing costs as well as greater access to shops, cafes, restaurants and community events. While not all of these may be relevant to your decision, it’s important to consider both the primary benefits, such as lower housing costs, as well as the secondary benefits such as your location and lifestyle changes.
Finding a smaller place that still meets your needs
Once you’ve written out a plan of your goals and considered all of the benefits you hope to enjoy from your downside, you will have a much clearer idea of the type of home you should/could be looking for. A further step you can take to help narrow down your search is to list out your deal-breakers. This is a list of the things that are essential for you in your new home. You already have your list of goals, such as saving money, and the benefits, such as a more convenient location. Now it’s time to consider those elements of your next home that you can’t live without. For some, this might be having a garden, a private outdoor area, an open floor plan or a place with a lot of light. Whatever your deal breakers are, add them to the plan and use them to bring you closer to the perfect house or apartment to meet your needs.
Downsizing your belongings
After you’ve made your plan, decided on a home and begun to prepare for the moving process, you’ve still got the challenge of dealing with all of your stuff. Downsizing your belongings is one of the most difficult parts for people moving into a smaller home. Trying to fit everything you own into your new place is a mistake. Not only does it mean you’ll be paying for the moving costs of everything you own, but you’ll immediately fill up all available space and feel thoroughly cramped. This essentially eliminates the many advantages of the downsize, namely less clutter and less stress. So as you look at all of your belongings you have five choices: keep, store, sell, donate or discard.
How to decide what to keep and what to get rid of?
Having a clear idea of the floor plan of the house or apartment that you’re moving to will make the process of deciding what to keep and what to get rid of a lot easier. This will help you to know how much room you have and where you will be able to put the items that you own. Think of this process of deciding as being not one, but several phases. Start by going through a preliminary purge of everything you know you will get rid of. Now make a list of everything that you will ‘definitely’ keep. After doing this, it’s time to go through the maybe pile. Anything that wasn’t a clear yes or a clear no, determine whether it is of monetary value or sentimental value. All items of neither value can be discarded. Items of sentimental value should be either put in storage
, kept if you have space or discarded if not. Anything of monetary value can be sold or donated if you don’t want to keep it in storage.
How to get rid of unwanted items?
After determining that you don’t want to keep these items, it’s important to check with any relevant family or friends before completely getting rid of them. Often during a downsize, relatives or close friends may hold a strong attachment to long-held possessions or family heirlooms. Even if they’re not important to you, checking with your close circle before making these decisions can avoid heartache and feelings of resentment. Once they have been consulted, any items in good condition that you do not want can generally be donated to charity. Anything of poor condition or no value should be recycled where possible or taken to an appropriate rubbish facility if not.
How and where can you sell all of your excess stuff?
For any unwanted items that are in condition and have some value, selling them is an excellent idea. Hosting a garage sale, auctioning your items or putting them for sale through an online marketplace has several benefits. Not only does it provide you with some extra cash during your downsize, but it also helps to get rid of possessions while not simply discarding them to a landfill. On top of this, often when you sell your items locally the buyer will come and collect the item, taking care of the transportation challenge for you. Win, win, win. Some recommended online marketplaces include Gumtree, eBay and Facebook marketplace.
Smart storage solutions
Downsizing can often mean being unable to house beloved items that you are not ready or willing to part with. Whether it’s a family heirloom, antique furniture or a collection that you’ve been building for years, sometimes selling, donating or discarding simply aren’t viable options. In these cases, storage is a simple and convenient solution. Flexible short
- and long-term
storage facilities can ensure your items are kept in good condition for as long as you require.
How to downsize and save money
For most people, the decision to downsize is largely financial. As such, to make sure this decision was worth it, it’s important that you make smart choices along the way. From choosing a reliable moving company to getting insurance to give yourself financial protection, there are plenty of ways that you can make sensible decisions to protect your bottom line.
Aligning your habits with your priorities
Ultimately going forward the key is to make a lifestyle change that suits your new home. Whether that’s a minimalist approach that requires fewer possessions or cutting down on some hoarding tendencies to ensure you don’t collect more than you can hold. For most people, extra rooms tend to get filled, that’s why cutting down on the extra space can really help. A downside is a perfect way to contribute to a lifestyle change and reduce your expenditure, but you have to make sure your habits align with your home and your priorities.