Do you feel ready to begin the next chapter of your life, but need help downsizing your home? Do you want to declutter and live a more stress-free life? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
When the time comes to eventually downsize it can be a little intimidating and overwhelming. After all, you’ve more than likely built up a lifetime of belongings, and now it seems impossible to fathom parting with any of them, much less do so in a new, smaller home. Home Care Removals want to ensure you get as much help as possible when it comes to downsizing home, so we have put together a small checklist to hopefully make this transition a little easier for you.
Before you Start
Before you dive straight into sorting through your belongings, there are several questions you should ask yourself first. These questions should prove vital in helping you figure out what to keep, what to donate or sell, how to get the ball rolling and provide some insight into how a company that specialises in senior downsizing services can help.
- Make sure you’re 100% convinced of downsizing – Whilst downsizing can bring about financial savings and a better use of your space, it can come with the challenge of decluttering and just be a stressful and emotionally taxing experience as a whole. Determining whether you should be downsizing to a smaller home is all about evaluating how your lifestyle and space will complement each other.
- Think long-term – It would be wise to create a loose timeline in your mind so you can plan accordingly, and also have a vision about what you might be able to do with the financial savings downsizing your home would give you.
- Prepare early – Begin the process as soon as you possibly can and start decluttering gradually, allowing plenty of time before moving day. Streamlining the seemingly never-ending process and creating your own checklist for the move will give you that extra bit of breathing space.
- Figure out where you’re moving – Explore your options that downsizing to a smaller home is going to provide you. Consider your accessibility needs, the community you’ll be moving to, the financial aspects, what amenities and services are readily available.
And ask yourself these questions:
- Am I going to be happy here?
- Can I see myself here several years from now?
- Is the location suitable for me whether I drive or not?
- Is there enough space for me to be comfortable?
- What about friends and family?
- Is there enough or too much garden?
- How easy is it going to be to get to my friends/family, post office, the doctor’s surgery and shops?
- What needs doing in the house?
- Will you be able to do the activities you’re interested in?
- What about the future?
- Does the area feel safe?
- What can I feasibly fit into the new home?
These are typically the harder questions, especially if you’re moving into a smaller flat, retirement home or assisted living. But they are worth considering, as they will make everything else much easier. Once you have weighed up all your options, and you’re 100% convinced it’s the right thing to do, it’s time to get started.
Step 1 – Write a To-Do List
Work out what to keep, can be chucked away, sold, gifted or donated. Ask yourself whether you’re really going to need your 30 china cups in your new 1-bed apartment. Figure out what furniture or white goods you’re going to need, or even if they will fit in your new home, so you might have to swap larger items for smaller ones. If you’re able to get a list together of what you fully need, sorted room-by-room and with plenty of time, you’ll feel more composed as you go through your possessions.
Step 2 – Work Out What Will Go Where
The next step is to focus on where your possessions will go, and this will be easier if you’ve got an idea of what your new home is going to be able to accommodate. As you go through each room of the house, we’d recommend following our four-box system because it’s a proven method of organising the belongings you’re downsizing. The boxes can be literal or figurative, but by the end of your organising you should have all your belongings sorted into the categories best for them.
If you’re not overly sure of where to begin, start by focusing on the small stuff. The smaller things in your house are likely to be easier to sift through and sort into the four-box system above, which will give you more time to sort through the more challenging, larger items. Combing through each room individually and wholly will make sure you don’t miss anything as you go. We’d recommend making a start on this as early as you can and space it out over a longer period of time, to make it feel like a less labour-intensive task.
Step 3 – Check and Re-Check
When you’re convinced you’ve checked over one room, check it again and again. We’d recommend doing this every day to ensure you’ve definitely not forgotten anything. Remember to check those nooks and crannies in your house that you don’t use very often. These places tend to accumulate lost items or junk, and downsizing is the perfect time to siphon through it all. So, make sure on your rooms list you include:
- The loft
- The basement (if you have one)
- Airing cupboards
- Obscured kitchen cupboards
- Under the stairs
- Bathroom cabinets or shelves
- Storage areas
Step 4 – Focus on Furniture
Finally, when all the small things have been sorted, you can move onto the furniture. This should be easier to manage, but you will need to take the size of your new home into account. Measure the dimensions so that you get an accurate picture of the space you’ll have in your new home, and what you will be able to fit in it. Some furniture might also be provided (in which case you won’t need to take yours), and some pieces you simply won’t have room for. Decide what you really want to take with you, and what will happen to the rest.
At Home Care Removals, we don’t think elderly downsizing or relocation should be difficult or feel like a chore. But we do understand how challenging it can be, particularly if you’re having to downsize due to mobility issues. That’s why we offer a full elderly downsizing service to support you through every step of the process, from the initial planning stages to full uninterrupted help on moving day. If you would like to find out more, just get in touch with the team today.