De-stressing downsizing

Are you, or someone you know, looking to downsize?

Here’s our best advice for how to take the stress out of the process.

Downsizing is a great opportunity for a fresh start. You’ll have less house to clean, less lawn to mow, and hopefully less stuff to take care of. When you are getting ready to downsize, don’t even think about trying to fit all of your old possessions into a smaller space. Not only is this physically impossible, it will drive you crazy. Instead, think about this as an opportunity to decide exactly how you want to live, and that means only taking things with you to support your new lifestyle.

Moving house generally involves packing everything as quickly as possible, anything to get that annoying task over and done with. But packing when you are downsizing takes a lot more thought. Rather than packing everything in sight, go from room to room looking for things you want to take with you. This way you are telling your brain that not everything is coming to the new house and we need to make some tough decisions. What are the items you can’t live without? What would you happily give space to? Once you accept that you can’t take everything to your new home, you will start to look at which items make the list.

Look for ways to cull groups of items around your house. Instead of 27 wine glasses, perhaps six is enough. Maybe choose your absolute favourite books and limit yourself to what will fit on one bookshelf. Try not to think of this as giving up particular items but choosing your absolute favourites to take with you.

Another easy category to get rid of are things you bought for a hobby that you never really got into or no longer want to pursue. Those dusty golf clubs, for example. Or maybe the pasta maker you thought you’d use when you had more time. Not only do these items take up physical space in your home, but mental space too. If this process of downsizing means you’ll finally have time to golf, fabulous! Make room in the new house for those clubs. If you know deep down you’re never going to use them, then cut your losses and sell or give them to someone who will make use of them. When you are moving into a smaller home, it is more important than ever to only take items with you that you will actually use.

Finally, what can you do about other people’s stuff they have left at your house? If you have grown up children, you will know what I am talking about! Now I know this is going to annoy some of you, but parents are not responsible for storing their children’s stuff for ever. If you are downsizing, you will have less room for your stuff, let alone other people’s stuff. Let your kids know that anything they leave behind is going to be donated or recycled.

If you can, take your time to really consider what you want to take with you and accept early on that you can’t take everything. And don’t pay to move things that you know you aren’t going to keep, declutter before the move. If you need help with moving into a smaller home, contact us at marika@spacetobe.com.au.