When it comes time for downsizing, the actual process can seem both daunting and emotional. Many find themselves moving out of family homes that have allowed them to create timeless memories with the ones they love the most. Others feel an integral link to a property that they have lived in for many years and may struggle with the idea of setting up routes anywhere else. And this is all before we mention the task of going through your belongings and choosing what will come with you during the move.
Here at Wild & Lye, we have supported homeowners for over 30 years in moving into their next home and have built experience during this time. This is why we’ve created our guide to downsizing to help you during this significant period in your life.
Reasons for Downsizing
There are many reasons why you may get to a point where your current home feels too big. These include:
- Older children moving out
- Health complications or age making it difficult to upkeep your current home
- Financial changes making it difficult to manage
- Seeking change
- Simplifying your life responsibilities
- Moving closer to friends or family
- Freeing up money for other things
While it’s a common misconception that most people downsize after retirement, there are many other times during someone’s life when it may be time to move on.
Advantages of Downsizing
We’ve mentioned the many reasons for downsizing. Now, let’s look at some of the advantages you find when choosing to move to a smaller property.
Utility bills, rent/mortgage payments, upkeep – moving into a smaller home will save you money in a multitude of different ways. Instead of pouring money into a property, you can create a more frivolous life or one where money can be spent on other activities.
Attempting to upkeep a larger home and maintain payments can cause high levels of stress and anxiety – especially if you’ve gone through some change recently. These stresses dramatically reduce if you choose to move to a smaller home. Not only will you free up time from cleaning to focus on things that bring you joy, but you can also enjoy more rest time and focus your energy elsewhere.
There are many occasions when you may need to gain access to large sums of money. The value of your current home will likely exceed that of your new, smaller one. This is the reason that many people choose to downsize and release equity from their property to use for other purposes. Retirement, to help a child buy their first home or to invest in a holiday home – this can help you to do the things you’ve always dreamt about.
More Options on Location
If you’re moving primarily to get closer to family or friends, downsizing to a smaller home gives you far more options. From flats to maisonettes or bungalows, there are far smaller homes on the market than there are bigger ones. So, you’ll likely be able to find a spot closer than expected and within your budget.
How to Prepare to Downsize
Once you’ve decided that this is a move you’re wanting to do, it’s time to get prepared. Our tips are:
Plan in Advance
Downsizing is a big job for any household. And, with any job, the best way to reduce stress is to make sure you plan and stay organised. Now is the time to make a preliminary list of all the tasks you will need to do in the run-up to your move. Consider the smaller jobs – such as sorting through the garden tools in the back of your shed or ensuring those charity bags get delivered before your moving date.
Be Realistic and Declutter
With a smaller house, you’ll have less storage space. So, now is the time to take a practical and realistic look at all the items in your home. Do you need 3 blenders for your kitchen? Are you likely to ever get that mountain bike out of the loft that you bought 3 years ago during a health kick? Not only are you downsizing your home, but you’re also choosing a less complicated and easier life. Too much clutter (especially when it’s not being used) can trigger stress and cause your smaller home to feel even more compact.
Start a room at a time. Ask yourself questions like:
- Have I used this item in the past year?
- Could this item be put to better use with a friend or family?
- Will this item be a practical addition to my new home?
- Will I have the space to keep or store this item in my new home?
Take any good items down to the charity shop or ask loved ones if they could make use of them. It does pay to be ruthless at this point.
Understand Your New Space
If you’re going to be replacing furniture or choosing which items to take, you need to have an understanding of what available space you do have. How big are each of the rooms? Will your existing bed fit in the new bedroom? Will all of your storage cupboards and cabinets have their own space? Measuring all items of furniture and drawing a simple floor plan will help you to understand if you need to re-home or get rid of larger items too.
Book the Right Removals Company
When downsizing, it’s tempting to do the move yourself – after all, you’re going to have less stuff, not more. And this is a very practical plan for many. However, it always pays to work with professionals. Not only will this help to reduce stress, but it will also help to create a more positive association with the move. The right team will help with everything, from professionally packaging up your goods to unpacking them at the end location. When it comes to large and heavy furniture, it does pay to have an experienced removal company on hand to reduce the risk of injury.
Downsizing should be as exciting as it was the first day you moved into your current home. It offers new opportunities and the chance to make more memories to cherish forever. At Wild & Lye, we’re here to help make the process as straightforward as possible. As well as offering container storage services for those items you want to keep but don’t have space for, we can also help with all areas of moving. Contact us today for more information or advice.