downsizing - Cosy Conservatory

If you’re downsizing to a new house, the prospect of squeezing all your belongings into a smaller space can be daunting, but we’ve got some hints on how to tackle downsizing and make your move easier.

We’re not all blessed with a minimalistic approach and most of us accumulate a significant amount of stuff over the years. In a large house this may not be a such a problem, but if you’re moving to a new house that’s considerably smaller, you need to face up to the reality that not everything will fit in. The last thing you want is to move to a smaller property, cram all your belongings in, only to find you can’t move around easily.

Fear not, as we’ve got some helpful tips, courtesy of the expert packers and movers PackAndGo, on how to downsize when you’re moving to a new home that will make your life simpler and make moving so much easier too.

Make a wish list

Before you start tackling the possessions in your home, make a wish list of essential items. These are the things you simply can’t live without. Although with this process you also need to be realistic – remember these are the things you need, not necessarily the things you want – so you can’t put everything on the list. If you’re struggling, rope in family or friends to give you an objective opinion on what to keep and what to let go.

Give yourself plenty of time

When you’re moving to a new house always allow yourself as much time as possible to go through your belongings and thin them out, as well as start packing them up in labelled and categorised boxes. Ideally give yourself 2-3 months to sort through everything from the garage and attic, to the kitchen and bedrooms. It inevitably takes longer than you think, but also you’ll give yourself more time to find new homes for the items too.

Sell, donate and recycle

We all know the saying “one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure”, so when you are decluttering and sorting, don’t just throw everything in the bin. You can utilise auction sites like eBay and Gumtree to make some extra cash and donate clothes, crockery and other household goods to friends and family or charity shops and shelters for a new lease of life.

Be methodical

The other important thing is to stay calm during this process, parting with so many things is inevitably going to be tough, but taking a methodical approach will make it more manageable. Tackle one room at a time, going through every drawer, box, shelf and cubby hole, getting rid of anything you don’t use regularly (i.e. you haven’t used in the last year or so).

Make a plan

Another great way to visualise what will and won’t fit in your new home, is by drawing a floor plan. You can play around with furniture layouts virtually to ensure that you don’t end up with cluttered rooms and too much furniture.

With these handy hints, moving to a new home that’s smaller doesn’t have to be such a nightmare, which is a relief as so many people need to downsize as they get older so it’s good to know it can all work out fine.

It can be an emotional wrench to move from a family home where you’ve lived for years but if it means you can manage better it is worth down-sizing for all sorts of reasons such as no longer having stairs to climb to go to bed, having a more manageable garden or being closer to shops and a community.

The vast majority of older people (97%) want to stay in their own homes as they get older so downsizing to a more manageable home makes sense and makes this possible for longer.

Elderly care and health is a subject close to my heart and I’ve written plenty more about it elsewhere – take a look if you’re interested:

Finding common ground with your carer

A Live-in Carer: Someone To Appreciate Your Interests And Preferences

You can have a healthy lifestyle whatever your age

Tips for Seniors – How to avoid falls

Live in care: The Benefits of Personalised Care

If you think you would suit a rewarding career as a live-in carer take a look at this info for more about what it takes:

Personal Hygiene and Mobility Issues

Should Your Elderly Loved One be Taking ALL Those Vitamins?

How often should I check on my loved one’s live in carer?

What can a live in carer help my elderly relative with? 

Finding Companion Care: Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Companion Care? How It Helps The Elderly

Finding Domiciliary Care: Frequently Asked Questions

Live-in Care: Your Questions Answered

And, finally find out what are the cheapest cities for UK homebuyers.

4 thoughts on “How best to move when you’re downsizing

  1. Great tips that are practical and have been very useful for me helping my grandpa downsize.

    He didn’t want to leave his old house at first but once he saw a lovely single storey home with a manageable yard he was convinced to move and is much more content now. He no longer has to worry about difficult maintenance jobs or mowing a huge area of lawn. Downsizing has made his life much easier.

    1. So true Brad that many old people don’t want to leave their long-term homes but when they do they often get a sense of freedom – no more onerous upkeep on a property that is too big for them.

  2. Hey,
    Good advice that down-sizing can actually help older people remain in their own home (perhaps indefinitely) as it relieves them of the burden of cleaning and maintaining a large home.

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