How to make downsizing that little bit easier

November 23, 2018


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Once you’ve retired, moving into a smaller house or apartment makes a lot of sense. 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 home you’re selling.

There will no doubt be a few things you won’t be able to take with you when you move into a smaller home. Sorting through a lifetime’s worth of belongings is no easy task, but it can feel great to clear away some clutter. Having spent time with people who’ve moved into smaller homes in a retirement community, I’ve found the KonMari Method of de-cluttering a great place to start. Developed by Marie Kondo, author of the best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, this method encourages people to keep only those things that speak to the heart.

While this may sound a little ‘new age’, it’s really just about discarding items that have outlived their usefulness. The golden rules of tidying according to the KonMari Method are:

Commit yourself to tidying up
Make a day and time to start and stick to it.

Imagine your ideal lifestyle
Have a clear picture in your mind of how you want your new home to look and feel.

Tidy by category, not by location
For example, it’s easier to sort through all of your books at one time than to sort through a living room.

Ask yourself if it sparks joy
Apart from essential items, keep only those things that you really love.

Finish discarding first
Before re-organising or packing things you want to keep, get rid of everything you don’t want to keep.

Following this method really does make it easier to tackle the practical side of downsizing.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors, please consult your own legal or financial advisors before making any decisions.