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Downsizing: The dos and the don’ts!

Downsizing: The dos and the don’ts!

There are many reasons someone might want to downsize. You may want to…

  • Have less responsibility, a smaller workload, and increased cash flow
  • Move due to work relocation or for a more rural or peaceful life
  • Have a home more suited to your current family size if your children have moved out
  • Have a home with more accessibility as you age
  • To extract some capital in order to help a child or grandchild to get onto the property ladder

Whatever your reasons, taking that first step may be the best decision you ever make. We’re here to talk you through it step by step:


1.      Start early and plan strategically.

The key to a successful downsizing is to start early. Begin the process at least 4-6 months before your ideal moving date. Create a realistic timeline, breaking down tasks into manageable steps. This will help you avoid the stress of last-minute decisions and ensure a more organised downsizing process.

2.      Get an Estate Agent in to give you a valuation.

Before you can decide where you go you need to know what you’re likely to get for your current property. An agent will be able to give you an accurate valuation depending on a number of factors. You can then instruct the agent who you feel is the best fit to sell your home.

3.      Sort and declutter room by room.

Take a systematic approach to downsizing by tackling one room at a time. Create three categories for your belongings: keep, donate/sell, and discard. Be ruthless in your decisions, considering the usefulness and emotional value of each item. If you haven't used or enjoyed something in the past year, it might be time to let it go.

4.      Put your home on the market.

Your agent should make this as easy as possible on you. Once your home is decluttered, the marketing can begin for your sale. They’ll take photos, videos and make a floor plan and a marketing plan going forward. You should have offers in no time!

5.      Find your new home.

Once your home is on the market, you can start looking for your next space. This is the exciting part. See if your agent has anything on their books which might fit the bill, go for a viewing and ensure it fits your NEW lifestyle, not your old one. Then you can make an offer and agree a sale.

6.      Assess your new space.

Before you start packing, get a clear understanding of the dimensions and layout of your new home. Measure rooms and storage spaces to determine what furniture and belongings will fit comfortably. This will guide your decisions on what to keep and what to let go.

7.      Prioritise essential items.

Identify the essentials you'll need in your new home. Focus on items that serve a practical purpose and have sentimental value. Consider the functionality and versatility of your possessions to make informed decisions about what to keep.

8.      Digitalise Memories.

If you have stacks of photo albums, paperwork, or other sentimental items, consider digitalising them. Scanning documents and photos can save space while preserving cherished memories. This not only helps with downsizing but also provides a convenient way to access your memories in the digital age. 

9.      Sell or donate unneeded items.

Once you've identified items for donation or sale, make a plan for how to dispose of them. Take it to a car boot sale, use online platforms, or donate to local charities. This not only lightens your load but also contributes positively to your community.

10. Optimise storage solutions.

Maximise your new home's storage capabilities by investing in smart storage solutions. Use multi-functional furniture with built-in storage, utilise vertical space with shelves and cabinets, and consider under-bed storage options. This will help maintain a clutter-free environment in your downsized space.


11. Pack strategically.

When packing, organise items by category and clearly label boxes. This will make unpacking much easier. Pack essential items separately and label those boxes as "Open First" so you can access necessities immediately upon arrival.

12. Seek professional help.

If downsizing becomes overwhelming, consider hiring professional organisers or downsizing specialists. They can provide valuable insights, offer emotional support, and assist in making difficult decisions about what to keep and what to part with.

13. Embrace the change.

Moving to a smaller home signifies a lifestyle change, and it's essential to embrace it positively. Focus on the benefits of downsizing, such as reduced maintenance, lower utility costs, and a simpler, more manageable living space. Look forward to the new opportunities and experiences that come with your downsized lifestyle.

For help finding a new smaller home and selling your current home, get in touch with our expert team today. We specialise in people, so we can help guide you from start to finish, and give you support in making the move as easy and seamless as possible.

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