5th August 2022
A recent study found that almost half of all people living in the UK, over the age of 55 years old, planned to live in a small and cheaper home in their later life. Moving to a smaller home is known as downsizing and is becoming extremely popular within the UK.
There are lots of different reasons that people choose to downsize. They may find that their home is just too big to clean and maintain or the garden is too much work. Some people move to a smaller home to free up money so they can travel the world and experience things that they couldn’t before. Some people downsize as a way of reducing monthly outgoings on bills and similar.
As people age some can experience mobility issues or struggle to continue living independently. Other people may find that living alone is making them lonely, so by downsizing to a retirement property they can be surrounded by other people and potential friendships.
However, it isn’t just older people that choose to downsize. Sometimes when the children grow up and move out, parents want to move to a smaller home. There are lots of other people, other than the older generation, that choose to downsize for various reasons.
No matter the reason for downsizing, planning ahead is key to a successful house move. As a company offering affordable storage facilities and secure storage units in Peterborough and Darlington, we have helped lots of people with their self storage needs when downsizing. Below we have put together some helpful tips to consider when downsizing homes. Don’t forget, if you need a storage unit, even for the short-term, call our team. We will happily tell you about our affordable self storage facility and how they can help you.
So, here are our helpful tips to consider when downsizing homes. These tips will help you enjoy the lifestyle you dream of, in a space where you are happy.
Start Now, But Pace Yourself
It’s good idea to start the downsizing process as soon as possible. This way you will give yourself more time which will help avoid the feelings of being overwhelmed. If you have lived in your home for some time, there will be a lot of family heirlooms, keepsakes and sentimental items. There will also be items that have been kept but are no longer needed and have long been forgotten about.
We recommend you start packing, clearing and decluttering around 3 months before you plan to move, but this is the very minimum, so you don’t feel rushed. This will help you clear your home to sell it. It will also enable you to jump start on the downsizing process. However, it will also give you a clearer, cleaner and more spacious home to live in until you are ready to downsize.
There are lots of different methods that you can use when decluttering and packing to downsize. The main goal, however, is to ensure you keep the items you need and use and get rid of those that you don’t. Just because you are moving to a smaller home, it doesn’t mean you should have less space. By decluttering the right way, you will be able to downsize your home and keep the space you need to enjoy your life.
Take One Room At A Time
Instead of doing a little bit in each room, which can leave you feeling like you are not getting anywhere, take on one room at a time. This will leave you with a room that is fully packed, and it gives you a sense of achievement when you see this completed room too. Think about the rooms and areas of your home that are used less and start with those. These could be the spare room. The loft, the shed or the garage for example. By starting with these areas, it will cause minimal disruption to your home in the lead up to the sale of the house and the move to your smaller home.
Try not to give yourself too much of a big target either. Instead of aiming to get one whole room done in one day, split the room into smaller tasks. For example, take a day or two to go through the dreaded ‘junk drawer’ that every home has. Take another day to go through your DVDs, CDs, books or video games for example. Go through your shoe cupboard and donate, give away or throw away the shoes that you no longer wear, need or are damaged.
Use another day to organise the kitchen drawers or to go through the boxes in your house. If the boxes are still packed away and untouched since the time you moved in – do you still need what is in them? Go through your sock drawer and pair up the socks, do the same for Tupperware pots and lids too. There is no point taking extras with you, so take the time to match up and clear out.
Size Up Your New Home
Downsizing may sound simple enough. In many cases it is a smaller home with fewer rooms. However, you need to size up your new home and measure out your new space. You need to think about the shape of the rooms too and where things can and will go too. This will help you understand what furniture you need, what you can take with you and what you will need to sell, donate or give to charity.
However, even if you don’t have the exact measurements of your next home or if you haven’t found your new home yet you can still start the decluttering. Think about the items you have and if they are needed in your new home. Will your old furniture suit the style of your home? Do you have friends or relatives that could put the furniture to good use?
It’s important to note that while your old furniture may fit in your new home, larger furniture can take up more room than needed. Instead, you could opt for smaller furniture to give you more space in your home. This is especially the case for a dining room table for example. Think if you still need the large dining table to seat 6 or even 12 people. Could it be worth selling the old large one and purchasing a smaller new one which will fit better in your home?
Think About Your New Life
Downsizing homes can be a really exciting time. Think about what your new lifestyle will look like. Remember the reasons that you have chosen to downsize, the new opportunities that will be available to you and the new activities and hobbies you can get involved in. Thinking about these things will make you feel happier about the future and what you are gaining, you will be less focused on what you might be losing or thinking about the older happy memories in your old home. Look at the move as an opportunity to look at the bigger picture and what you will gain from downsizing.
Think about why you are downsizing. Is it so you can save money? Maybe you want to free up money so you can travel more? Perhaps you want an easier lifestyle or to be surrounded by friends. By thinking about what you want from your new life and how your new lifestyle will look you will be able better picture your new home. This will help you see what items you want in your new home and which you need to donate or sell.
You may have some items that you don’t feel ready to get rid of yet, but you also don’t have the room for. In cases like this, you can use our storage units. This way your items are safe if you decide to use them. If you find that you haven’t thought of them 3 months later and they haven’t been needed, for example, you know you can sell or donate them. But if you have needed them then you can have them in your new home. Our affordable storage solutions give you that space to think – with no time pressures or rushed decisions that you might regret in the future.
Set Yourself Decluttering Rules
Decluttering your home isn’t always easy. You can start strict and decide what you are getting rid of and keeping. However, it can then become very easy to make exceptions. You will then quickly find that you are just moving things from one place to another, even though they are needed or used. Your new home will then feel small and cramped and there will be lots of things that aren’t needed in your new home.