How To Downsize Effectively

As the number of people aged over 65 is forecast to rise over the next decade from 11.7 million to 14.3 million by 2025 and with the number of older people living alone increasing, the decision to downsize can be an emotional one. 
elderly man walking alone Photo by David Sinclair on Unsplash

Not only are there financial implications to downsizing but there’s the sentimental ones too, especially if it’s a house you and your family have called home for a number of years. Here are our tips on downsizing effectively and sympathetically. 

Keep items that spark joy
The idea of an item sparking joy was created by Marie Kondo and offers a simple template for how to effectively declutter your life by keeping things that are either useful, or quite simply items you love. 
Items you decide you no longer want can be sold or taken to charity shops. 

Downsize the big stuff first
The chances are, when you downsize, you’ll be losing not only bedrooms but also square footage. Where once your 3-piece-suite fitted perfectly in a bay fronted living room, it might be a bit snug for your new abode, or perhaps you’ll own too many beds or too much bedroom furniture. Large items should be the first thing you decide to recycle, and instead keep pieces that won’t overcrowd your new place or purchase three-quarter size furniture specifically designed for smaller homes. 

sofa and coffee table Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Be sentimental 
Downsizing doesn’t mean throwing away sentimental items, but it will mean confronting that box of long abandoned toys in the loft. Think about why you’ve kept an item you’ve deemed sentimental – is it the item itself, or is it the memory attached to it? By being honest with your feelings you’ll be able to keep and donate items much more easily. 

Digitise wherever you can 
Thanks to cloud storage, many items such as photographs, music and important documents can now be uploaded to the cloud, making downsizing much easier. This doesn’t mean throwing away old photographs but can mean you are more selective with the ones you keep.
printed photographs and laptop Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash

Get organised
The main thing when looking at downsizing is getting organised. This will help you when arranging your finances ahead of the move – remember to factor in solicitors fees, stamp duty and moving costs, as well as with packing things away. Don’t think of the rooms in your current house, but the one you’re moving to. Where do you want items to live, and pack away in boxes accordingly? 

It’s important to remember that memories are not held in bricks and mortar, nor in the items within the four walls.  Wherever you call home, your memories will be there as will the new ones, waiting to be made.  
toasting with three glasses of wine Photo by Matthieu Joannon on Unsplash

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