In the past, people would downsize their home once the children grew up and moved out. Today, home owners are choosing to downsize for a variety of additional reasons. For example, downsizing can also offer a less cluttered and minimalist lifestyle, saving money and allowing for a simpler way of life.
Whatever the reason, downsizing a home is a big task. In order to reduce any stress it is important to break the process down into bit-size chunks.
First things first – get organised
One of the easiest ways to reduce the stress associated with moving and downsizing is to start early. The process of decluttering can take a lot longer than anticipated. Knowing what you wish to do with your items before you start the process is a must. Have boxes handy to begin packing the items that will be making the move with you, consider charities for items you don’t need and rent a storage space to safely store the items you will need later or simply can’t let go of.
The decluttering process
When downsizing, you will find that you have to choose between belongings that you need and those that simply won’t fit into your new, smaller home. The first task to tackle when downsizing is to decide what your actual needs are through a strict decluttering process.
A good way to do so is to walk through each room in your home and prioritise your belongings according to how often you use the item, what it’s purpose is and its realistic value. This will give you a good indication of which items that you will keep, donate or safely put into self storage.
Once you have created a mental (or physical) list of items that will make the move with you, you need to create another two category lists. The first list is for items that you no longer use regularly, but are not to be thrown out. This can either be due to sentimental value or because they may be used seasonally or simply at a later stage (sporting or camping equipment for example). The second category can be titled the ‘donation’ or ‘throw out’ group of belongings. Whether you throw out or donate these belongings will depend on the quality and usefulness of the items.
Consider your new lifestyle
Once you have done a preliminary screening of your belongings and categorised them into various groups, it is important to consider your new home. Will you have space or use for the items that you wish to keep? If not, will you add the belongings to the category of selective use (for self storage) or donation? Another important aspect to consider is the size of your furniture and whether or not the furniture will fit into your new home.
Tips and hints for storage items
When decluttering for a downsize, you may come across items that leave you indecisive on whether or not to keep them because you do not need them at that exact moment. For example, if you are downsizing in winter, you may look at your summer clothes and see no need for them, in which case self storage is a great option as your unit can become an extension of your home.
Seasonal clothes, excess furniture, lifestyle and hobby equipment are just a few belongings that are best stored in a convenient and secure self storage facility. Self storage facilities offer the safety and security of your home, without taking up precious space. A good rule of thumb for storing items is to keep them for six months and reassess if they were worth storing or not. The best self storage facilities allow you to upsize or downsize your unit depending on your needs.
The process of downsizing your home is made much easier with a little bit of breathing space. So, make sure that you start the process earlier rather than later, and take advantage of service providers that allow you to make these decisions in your own time.