Skip to main content

Moving into a smaller home is often something people prefer to do when family members have left home or perhaps following a breakup where the extra space is no longer needed.

Making changes in life can be tough, especially when it means having to part with many of your treasured possessions, and moving to a smaller property will require quite a bit of that. Many people manage to downsize successfully, though; it just requires a bit of know-how and careful planning.

If you are struggling and don’t know where to start? Follow this simple guide on how to transition to a smaller home, and we will have you moved and accomplished in no time.

1) Plan of action

Start by browsing the whole house, room by room, cupboard by cupboard, and make some lists of things to do.

Think about what could possibly be donated and where you plan to donate them to, can anything be sold? Where do you plan on selling? Create the to-do list and order it, starting with priority items to those of less importance. Most households accumulate lots of stuff, especially if you’ve lived there for such a long time, but having a plan of action will take the stress out of the sorting stage.

2) Start sorting

This is the hard part as many people find it hard to part with things, especially things that hold fond memories, but we have to be realistic if we- want to make the downsizing successful- otherwise, we could end up with a small overly cluttered house. Rather than take all your clutter with you- as much as it’s hard to face- it’s better to do it now, rather than later.

Sorting may require some repetitive action, it may take a few goes to make some realistic choices, but that is fine, if you are unsure about parting with any item just pile them together and come back to it later on, you may have a clearer head by then, and it may not be as overwhelming when you’ve given yourself time to think.

What items do you need?

Well, you won’t need multiples, for sure! So, there’s a good place to start, if you have two or three of the same things, try to get it down to just one and consider selling or donating the others.

Personal/treasured items

Most people want to hang on to their most treasured possessions, and that is understandable but if you’ve got a huge collection of mementos-some of which are from family members, as the kids’ stuff from childhood- why not consider passing them on to their rightful owners, at least you get to keep them in the family, and it’ll free up some extra space for you.

3) Take some measurements

The next stage is to take a look at your current furniture and determining whether or not it will fit into the new home, bearing in mind it’s smaller than your current one. There is no point trying to squeeze huge sofas, fridges, bedroom furniture, etc. into a smaller home if it’s going to be a tight squeeze, it’ll just make it appear cramped and claustrophobic. Start taking measurements and making some choices, if it’s too big it’s going to cause a headache trying to squeeze it in so save yourself from the stress now, and consider selling things if you have to! On the bright side, if you sell things, you get to make some money, and you could put it towards some new furniture instead.

4) Consider storage

Before moving, it’s better to have an idea of the amount of storage space you have at the new home, take a good look, and it will help determine what you can realistically take with you and store away. There may be options to create additional storage at the new home, or you may have to consider buying new furniture which has built-in storage to save space.

If you cannot decide at all and/or are sure that many things you have are just difficult to part with? There is another option. You could always consider renting a Self-storage unit, either temporary (until you feel more able to sort through those things) or long-term. Self-storage units offer extra storage space (free from cluttering up the home), and they are safe and secure. Self-storage is very flexible (with regards to time scales and contracts), so it may be worth considering this option if you prefer to hang on to things for a little longer right now.