Written by Cara Fitzgerald | 28 March 2024

Moving to a smaller home can be the start of something fresh and simple. The kids have moved out and you’re keen to cut your bills, reduce the time you spend on home maintenance, and free yourself up to hit the road in your camper. The kicker is you’ll need to downsize – and this part ain’t fun! Less rooms in your new home means less space, and less space means you’re going to have to get rid of some stuff that you’ve been hanging on to for years.

How to downsize when moving to a smaller home

We’ve put together a handful of basic tips on where to start and how to survive the process of downsizing with your sanity in check.

Start early

Our biggest tip for downsizing is to start early and plan ahead. You’re going to need plenty of time to sort through everything you have and decide what to keep, donate, or sell. Begin the process of downsizing at least a few months before your move to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Think about your new lifestyle needs

What do you really need in your new and simpler life? Do you require a fully-fledged home office or simply a compact workspace in a hallway nook? What will you use the spare bedroom for and what furniture is needed for that? Will the sectional lounge you have now actually fit in your new home? Floor space will be tighter, so you may need to buy some multi-functional furniture, like ottomans with hidden storage or beds with built-in drawers, to make the most of your new smaller space.

Declutter ruthlessly

There’s no way around it – you’re going to have to make some tough decisions. Be ruthless when decluttering your belongings. Ask yourself whether each item is either a) essential or b) brings you joy? Does it serve a practical purpose or hold sentimental value? If not, consider donating, selling, or giving it away to someone else who could use it. By the way, if you haven’t used in the past year, it’s not essential!

Digitise your documents

Filing cabinets are a thing of the past and so are desk draws and boxes of old documents, tax returns, receipts, and medical records. Paper clutter takes up valuable space no matter how big your home is, so it can become a big problem when downsizing. Minimise the issue by converting your important documents into a digital form that can be stored on your computer, hard drive or in the cloud. This will not only save space, but also make it quicker and easier to access these documents in the future.

Cull your wardrobe

“I’m so looking forward to that task”, said no one ever! However, clearing out your wardrobe is a necessary evil that must be done, as it will lighten your load and make the moving process more manageable. Only the favourites should make the cut when downsizing, as you’re likely to have a much smaller closet than you do now. Besides, starting off in your new home with a streamlined collection of clothing will be all the excuse you need to make some new lifestyle purchases after you settle in.

Relieve yourself of excessive kitchen appliances

Bulky kitchen appliances are kitchen cabinet hogs! While it might seem hard to part with pricey purchases like the fancy Thermomix you bought 5 years ago and have used twice, it really is time to let it go. Plus, kitchen bench space where you move to is likely to be at a premium, so you will need to be merciless about what you end up keeping.

Welcome the opportunity for change

Moving to a smaller home can be a considerable life change that might take some getting used to. Embrace the chance to simplify that downsizing brings, let go of excess belongings, and create a more peaceful and organised living space. Stay focussed on the positive aspects of downsizing, such as lower expenses, reduced maintenance, a lighter environmental footprint, and look forward to the day you can lock it up and see a bit of Australia.

If you have downsizing in mind and are looking to purchase a new house or apartment, our team at @ap-realty are here to help. Rated the number 1 agency in the suburb 9 years in a row, your local real estate agent will help you find the smaller home of your dreams.

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