Many people spend years upsizing their property from that first room or apartment, to the first family home and then the next larger properties that you may choose to move on to. However, there will typically come a time in your life when kids move out, life circumstances change, or for whatever reason, it’s time to downsize your property from a larger home, into something more manageable for your current situation.
Downsizing can bring advantages such as the ability to free up equity in your current home or moving into a property which is easier to manage during retirement
However, it also brings disadvantages, like the fact that you may have less space to work with, so will have to spend time getting rid of excess furniture and belongings which will not fit in your new property.
Alongside all of the physical baggage, downsizing can also bring a lot of emotional baggage with it, as you may be leaving behind a property that you have very happy memories of living in, so it may take a while to get your head around the decision to downsize.
Living in a smaller property than previously brings its own challenges and rewards, so here are some useful tips to help you navigate the journey of downsizing your property.
Size and Location Matter
It’s helpful to consider what kind of property you are wanting to downsize to, and where you want the location of that property to be.
If you are moving with someone else, then you may need to have a discussion about what you both feel is an acceptable property size. Do you want a smaller house with a garden, a bungalow, a ground floor maisonette or apartment, or something else altogether? It may be that one of you is thinking a nice small one-bedroom home, whilst the other person still wants to maintain a slightly bigger property for family and friends to stay in, so make sure that you are clear on property size before starting your search.
It’s then also helpful to consider the location you want to live in. Do you want to be within an easy drive of amenities and on a route with good public transport, or do you want to get away from it all and live further away? Staying near Family and Friends may be an important factor to consider too.
Think about whether your new property has potential for future proofing. If you’re planning on staying in your property for the long term, will it still be fit for purpose 10 years down the line?
Downsize Large Furniture
In order to downsize, it’s likely that you will need to get rid of large items in your home. Write down a list of all of the furniture that you have in your current home, and then all of the furniture that you will need in your new home, and compare lists. Hopefully this will help you to work out what you may need to part with.
For example, you may currently have a three-bedroom property, with three beds, three wardrobes and three sets of drawers, but now be moving into a one-bedroom property where you only need one bed, one wardrobe and one set of drawers, so some of these larger items may need to go!
Downsizing floor space, but not the number of rooms can be trickier, so you may need to work out whether your larger items actually fit into your current home or whether you will have to purchase new furniture that work for a smaller space.
Arrange for collection of furniture or equipment you no longer need from a charitable organisation, or offer it family and friends, or for sale or free on selling sites to help you get rid of furniture as easily as possible.
Like with furniture, your belongings will have typically accumulated over the years, and so downsizing is the perfect opportunity to go through your belongings, Marie Kondo style, and decide what still “sparks joy” and is for keeping, and what you no longer need and isn’t worth holding onto.
It’s also helpful to consider what equipment you will no longer use. For example, if you are moving to a smaller property or even a flat, will you be using equipment to maintain the garden and if not, is there any point in keeping it?
If you are keeping belongings or “clutter” for other people, then let them know that you will not be taking their belongings to your new home, and that they will need to collect and sort through their items before you move.
With modern advances in technology over the years, we’ve gone from things like Videos to DVDs and from Cassette to CDs and now to digital downloads for all types of media.
It may be that you are holding onto certain technological items which are no longer seen as “advanced tech” for sentimental value. Why not consider turning all of these into digital files so that you still have them available to you in a modern format, but you don’t have to hold onto the physical copies if you want to save space.
Similarly, you may be holding onto lots of old photo albums which could also be digitalised to save space.
Consider External Storage
If you are downsizing, and have belongings which you absolutely can’t bear to get rid of, but which will not fit in your new property, then you could consider renting a storage unit, so that you have the peace of mind of holding onto your belongings, without the worry of trying to fit them into your new home.
So, there are a few ideas to get you started!
If you are considering downsizing, then we’re always happy too chat and assist with help and advice on whether selling your current property and moving to a smaller property, or moving onto the rental market would be a better fit for you. Why not pop into our offices on Victoria Street, or give us a call on 01727 221290 to find out more.