How to ensure downsizing has an upside

October 4, 2018

Moving into a smaller house or apartment once you’ve retired makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. For starters, it can free up both time and cash – a smaller home means there’s less to look after and, in most cases, it will cost less to purchase than the one you’re selling.

Even better, buying a new apartment in a retirement village means that someone else manages all the maintenance for you, which could save you hours of work or quite a bit of money.

Of course, adapting to a smaller home can be a challenge, so we’ve put together some great tips and tricks for you.

  • Track how often you use things. Put any items you don’t use very often into a box and, if you find there are some things you haven’t taken out after a few months, it’s probably safe to give them away or sell them.
  • Regularly purge your wardrobe and your paperwork. Don’t hold onto things which aren’t useful or that you are holding onto for no good reason.
  • Measure everything before the move—try to plan out where your furniture will go so that you can visualise the space.
  • Take it slowly and sort things in batches.
  • Keep the things you like best—but don’t keep them in a drawer, use them and love them.
  • Consider moving some items that you aren’t sure about into storage or with friends—that way you can see what it’s like living without them for a while before you decide what to do with them.
  • Rather than waiting until you are packing to leave your home, plan ahead and start de-cluttering early. It will take the stress out of the experience, and clearing out will make your home seem more spacious—which in turn will help buyers imagine their furniture in your house more easily.
  • When your house is on the market, make extra effort to clear surfaces, remove personal items such as photos, and take some inspiration from home magazines to spruce up some things.
  • It you are feeling sad about throwing away items from your home, take a photograph of them and make a memories box.
  • Start referring to your home as your ‘property’ to make it easier to leave.
  • Finally, throw a leaving party to celebrate the times you have enjoyed there!