Downsizing is something that most people will do at least once in their lives. Your children have flown the nest and you find yourself in a large house with multiple empty bedrooms. This can get lonely and hard to manage the cleaning requirements so downsizing is the natural option.

Downsizing can be tough. You have spent the last 20 years of your life in a large home, filling it with things that make you happy and furniture that you love, and now it is time to choose what to keep and what to get rid of. Whether you are moving into a home with less rooms or simply into a home with less floor space, the reality is that things are going to have to go.

Here are our favourite tips for downsizing:

Take an inventory of your things:

When you decide that you will be making the transition into a smaller home, begin to create an inventory of all your belongings, you might find that you have duplicates of some things or even that you have items which could act as a substitute for something else that you have. Minimising duplicates is a great way of preparing for a downsize.

Don’t just give/throw everything away:

This might seem like a bit of a contradictory statement, but it is important too. During the process of downsizing you will constantly hear advice telling you to cull your belongings, donating everything to charity or friends or selling on resale sites such as ebay or gumtree.

Too often people follow this rule and end up giving away items that they needed, then end up having to spend money repurchasing when they are in their new home. Similarly, you don’t want to go about throwing away items with special sentimental value just because a blog post told you to.

A great way of deciding what to keep and what to throw away is to think about what you would do if there was a fire. What items would you run to save?

Digitise where you can:

Get rid of paper clutter by digitising your documents. Get your utility suppliers to begin providing your invoices via email. This includes gas, electricity, phone, internet, etc. There will be some documents that you will need the original copy of, but you may be able to scan many into your computer, freeing up desk space.

Go through your ‘tech draw’:

How many of you have one of these? Tech is one of those things that for some reason, people never like to throw away. Old phones sit in draws after an upgrade, and you tell yourself that it could come in handy one day. 5 years later and you still haven’t found a need to use your old phone from 2012, and now there are 3 more lying next to it. Most people have that big draw in their home that is full to the brim with cords, old cameras, old phones, controllers and the rest. Chances are that you will not know what half of the cords are related to or whether they even work! Old cameras can be donated or gifted as you probably have a phone with a more than adequate camera function.

Plan out your storage space:

Planning is the key to fitting all your belongings’ in your new home when you are downsizing. You are sure to have less storage space in your new home and you don’t want to have to put things on display, making the house feel cluttered.

Don’t save things for your kids or grandkids:

Whilst the sentiment of receiving something that has been in the family for years is not lost on the younger generation, be mindful of the number of things that you are saving to pass down to your children or grandchildren. Generation X tend to value experiences over possessions and may not be as willing to accept your old table as you might have anticipated.

Set yourself rules:

Downsizing successfully isn’t just about what you do pre-move, it is also about how you live once you are in your new, smaller home. Set yourself accumulation limits. If you make any new purchases whether it be new clothes or nick knacks for around the home, something else has to go. When you get mail, try to deal with it straight away, read it and action if required but don’t let it sit on the bench for weeks on end.

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