Tip # 1: Make a list of all your belongings
This may seem like a pretty over-whelming task (particularly if you’ve lived in your current house for a long while) so break it down and do one room at a time over several days. Go through your belongings and decide what to keep, throw out donate to charity or sell.
TOP TIP – use different coloured sticky dots to mark belongings as keep, sell/donate, throw, etc. It’ll make life a lot easier when you come to actually moving out!
It might sound obvious but downsizing means less space so you do need to be strict about what you really need to keep over what you want to keep.
TOP TIP – Email family and friends with photos of things you plan to get rid of and give them a timeline to respond if they want them.
Tip # 2: Avoid duplicates
Look at what you have multiples of and only keep your favourites. This is particularly true in our kitchens where we tend to have lots of the same utensil. Ask yourself if you really need 5 bottle openers and 4 nutcrackers!
TOP TIP - Think about your new home and ask yourself realistically how many people would/could you entertain in that space and then keep only that number of cutlery, glassware, etc.
Don’t forget to have a look through your pantry and spice cabinet. Get rid of any food or ingredients that are past their best before date. Is there really any point packing and moving a jar of marjoram that went out of date in 1997?!
Tip # 3: Give stuff away!
The old adage of one person’s junk is another’s treasure is truer than ever and there is a positive drive towards re-use of items.
Leaving books, furniture, etc. outside with a sign saying ‘FREE!’ can work depending on where you live but with social media it has never been easier to give stuff away.
TOP TIP – Use Facebook Marketplace to advertise stuff you want to give away.
Tip # 4: Don’t buy any new stuff
It may seem obvious but if you are trying to reduce the amount of possessions you own you don’t buy any new ones! Granted there may be things that you need for your new home, for example if you are getting rid of your current sofas and buying new ones for the smaller house. Try as much as possible to refrain from buying anything new until you’ve actually moved that way you can see what space you have after you’ve got all your existing items in.
TOP TIP – if you really can’t refrain from buying anything new impose a rule on yourself of ‘One in, one out’. Every time you get something new, something old has to go!
Tip # 5: Sell, sell sell!
There is a real market for some second-hand items and you could earn yourself a little bit of money too! Some of the most popular items to sell include furniture, kid toys and clothing, as well as power tools and gardening equipment.
You could go to a car boot sale or you can snap a few pics and post things online. There are lots of sites you can use: Shpock, GumTree, Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, etc.
TOP TIP – do a bit of online research to find out how much similar items are selling for to help you price your stuff.
Tip # 6: Measure up!
Take careful measurements of the furniture you are keeping so that you can assess if it will fit in your new place. Ask yourself how will it look and feel in your new home. Very large pieces might fit but look imposing and make the rooms feel smaller.
TOP TIP – Use the floor plan drawings of your new home to sketch out how furniture might be arranged.
Tip # 7: Keep downsizing even after you’ve moved
Once you’ve moved into your new home unpack and put away your best/favourite stuff first. Once the cupboards are full you’ll need to re-assess whether the remaining stuff really needs to be kept or not.
TOP TIP – Invest in some clever storage solutions that make the most of the cupboard space you have.
Tip # 8: Have fun!
Downsizing doesn’t have to be arduous. Try and view the process as one of creating space and freedom to move into a new phase of life. With very few exceptions most of your possessions are ‘just stuff’ and the memories you associate with them will not disappear just because you no longer own the item.
TOP TIP – take lots of photos of your current home inside and out and create a photo album that you can take with you to look through as a memory keepsake.
If you are thinking about downsizing do get in touch with us for a chat. Amelies are experienced Estate Agents and Letting Agents in Oxford and Oxfordshire with an extensive local knowledge. We are happy to chat about different areas and how they might best suit your needs. Our friendly service and low fees mean we can help make the downsizing process as stress free as possible. From getting your current house on the market to helping you find a new home, we are with you every step of the way.
You can find out how much your house might be worth with our free online instant valuation tool or book a face to face valuation, that’s free too! You can also browse the houses we have for sale and rent on our website.