Reduce the stress of downsizing your home and embrace your new space

Whether you’re moving to a smaller home, or your existing one is bulging at the seams; the stress and anxiety felt at the thought of downsizing your home and worldly possessions to fit comfortably into a smaller space are often overwhelming enough to keep people rooted to the same spot that they’re in right now.  

Sometimes, for years.

The attic is full of memories and keepsakes; every cupboard is fit-to-bursting with valuable belongings, and the much-loved furniture that adorns every room in your home has taken years to accumulate. You can’t stand to part with any of it, and even if you could – you wouldn’t have a clue where to start.

Well, stress no more; we’re here to help you! We know what it’s like when faced with the mammoth task of downsizing your home, so we’ve put together our top tips to help you make downsizing easy.

1. Don’t fall into the trap of getting a storage area

downsizing home avoid offsite storage area
When downsizing, avoid getting a storage area if you can.

When downsizing a home, a storage facility is nothing more than a great, big security blanket! And an expensive one at that. It’s easier to think you’re just putting things away rather than getting rid of them forever but trust me; that’s a waste of time and money! Set your mind frame from the outset that your possessions either stay, or go, and this will help you permanently move on from them. If you’re moving to a smaller home but planning to upscale again in the not-too-distant future then, by all means, put furniture in storage for the short term, but never on an ongoing basis.

2. Create a holding area

Take comfort in the fact that the downsizing process gets easier as you get into it. While, at first, it might be difficult to let go of things; the more you get into the habit and the more space you create; it becomes almost addictive! Create a holding area for ‘maybe’ items and when you’ve finished the whole house, go back and revisit. We guarantee that you’ll reduce those items by at least half!

3. Ask yourself – do you need it?

Have you used those kitchen gadgets in the past 12 months? Have you worn the clothes that are bursting out of your cupboard in years, and if not, do they even still fit you? Set some strict criteria for yourself before you begin, and make sure you stick to it. ‘Need’ is different to ‘want’, and when downsizing your home, it’s vital that you learn how to differentiate between the two.

downsizing kitchen items
Ask yourself – have I used this item in the last 12 months?

4. Allocate items that you’ve been holding onto for others

If you’ve raised a family, the chances are that you’re storing items for grown up children too. Give everyone plenty of notice that you’re downsizing, and you’ll be giving back all of their possessions. Some people store things for others for years, and when it comes time to give them back to their rightful owner, they’re no longer valuable to them either.

5. Make some money

List items on Gumtree, eBay or hold a garage or car boot sale. If you can put a dollar value on everything you come across while you’re downsizing, it makes it much easier to part with.

downsizing home garage sale
Hold a garage sale to make a little money from unwanted items.

6. Donate to charity

Choose a charity that is close to your heart and see how they can benefit from your excess of possessions. Often, International aid charities can make good use out of unwanted clothes; or donate everything to an op shop and allow them to turn your stuff into cash for their good cause.

7. Calculate floor space

If you’re moving to a smaller property, calculate the floor space and compare it to the measurements of your items. OK, so this is never going to be an exact science, but it’s a good way to get a vague idea of how much you can take with you. Built in cupboards and wardrobes are a particularly accurate guide to how many clothing items you can keep.

8. Choose valuable items that are appropriate to the size of your new home

downsizing home assess furniture size
Your favourite couch or piece of furniture simply may not fit in your new home.

There is a difference between something you like and something that is valuable or precious. Differentiate between the two and make sure you’re strict that you only keep furniture items that will fit into your new space. Downsizing your home is an excellent way to get rid of smaller items in bulk, but often some furniture simply won’t fit.

9. Focus on your fresh start

declutter before downsizing
Declutter before you downsize for a fresh start.

It’s been proven that getting rid of clutter improves productivity; releases blocked energy but most of all; it leads to an exciting fresh start! While downsizing can be an emotional process, focus on your new life and ask yourself if the item that’s in your hands right now needs to be a part of it? You’re about to start a new journey and make new memories, and often the things that you’re clinging on to don’t need to be a part of that.

If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of downsizing, or perhaps you’re ready to go but you don’t know where to start – CONTACT US today. Bless this Mess provides a first-class service which makes downsizing your home fast, effective and pain-free.