HomeLifestyle & TravelHome & Garden5 steps to make downsizing your home a success

5 steps to make downsizing your home a success

Selling your large property to move into something smaller is a move most people face sooner or later.

Some look forward to no longer having the constant burden of maintenance coupled with a big house and a garden. Others do so to loosen the financial noose around their necks caused by the highest interest rates recorded in close to 15 years.

Whether it’s a change in your lifestyle needs or a need for a lifestyle change, whatever your reasons are behind downsizing, we’ve got five tips to help make the move that much easier:

Get the tape measure out

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Avoid the nightmare of realising halfway up the stairs that the heavy couch you are carrying is not going to fit through the door by going in prepared…with a tape measure. Plan where your existing furniture is going to be placed in your new home, and measure the space and the items to make sure it will all work before you start the heavy lifting. RE/MAX of Southern Africa suggest asking your estate agent for the plans of your new home to help you visualise where you are going to place your furniture. 

Move before you shop
Now that you know what can and can’t fit, move your existing furniture into the new space before buying anything new. Not only will this give you one less thing to move (which will save on moving costs), it also allows you the time to live in the home and get a sense for what furniture will work in the smaller space. 

Store sentimental items in the cloud

Moving to a smaller home often means far less storage space. Photo albums and CD racks can take up a lot of unnecessary space. Tough as it might be, now is the time to move to digital music platforms and digitise photo albums so that they can be stored in the cloud. Keep just a few of the special photos by framing them and hanging them on the walls in the new home.

Tick off one room at a time

Look at how much storage space you will have in your new home as a guide for how much you will need to clear out in your current home. It can be emotional to get rid of the items you have accumulated over the years, which is why it is best to work systematically and tackle one room at a time. Begin with rooms you use least and categorise items into four boxes marked: “Must keep”, “Sell”, “Donate”, and “Rubbish”. Keep the momentum going by simply putting the items that you are unsure of to one side. Once you’ve sorted through everything, you can allow yourself the time to go through these items again to decide whether to hold onto them or get rid of them.

Turn unwanted goods into cash or kindness
Instead of taking everything you don’t want to the local dump, sell your unwanted goods online. Not only will this help stock up your piggy bank for your new items, but others will also be happy to turn your ‘trash’ into their treasures. You could also help out those in need by donating your unwanted goods that are in good condition to thrift stores and charity shops.

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