When it comes to downsizing the property you are living in, the process is tinged with emotional weight.
This is hardly surprising. Most house moves are aspirational because you are usually moving into a house that requires more than your current one or are moving into a larger property.
Either way, there is an element of desirability and that your life will be better off as a result.
Whether it is renting your first flat or moving into your dream house with your family at your side, house moves can be incredibly exciting. For many house movers, this is a blessing because the anticipation of starting a new life numbs the pain of the moving process itself.
Unfortunately, none of this is the case when you downsize your property.
Instead of moving to a larger house, you are moving to a smaller one. When this happens, you may understandably think that you won’t ever live in such a big property again. Whether this is because you are elderly and no longer need so much space, or because your financial circumstances have changed and you can no longer afford your current lifestyle, there is a sense of finality about a downsize.
What’s more, you will almost certainly be unable to fit all your current furniture and other possessions inside the smaller property you are about to move into. This creates the headache of deciding which items you are going to keep and which you will have to sell or give away.
Thankfully, downsizing doesn’t have to be a negative step and can be liberating once you change your attitude towards the move.
This guide will help you to understand the steps necessary to downsize with minimal stress:
Use a storage box
Undoubtedly the most laborious and stressful element of a house move (once the sale has gone through successfully) is the physical transportation of goods from one property to another. There is no getting around it; this is a tough step to take.
Luckily, numerous options are availableif and when you need them.
The most obvious option is to hire a removal team to handle the entire move for you. They can box up your belongings, carry them onto a trunk and drive them to your new house – no matter how far it may be.
However, this option has clear limitations.For one, it takes away your immediate control from the move. When someone else is handling your possessions, you can no longer keep track of where everything is. What’s more, you may not want a team of strangers traipsing in and out of your property. Given that it is your private domicile, this is completely understandable.
Last, but certainly not least is the fact that this option can be eye-wateringly expensive. Instead, why not consider using BlueBox Storage instead?
This service provides you with a large shipping container, which you can use to load your furniture and other belongings. Given that it is completely watertight and secure from intruders, you can use it as a temporary storage depot while you empty your current house.
It also allows you to decide what you are keeping and what you are getting rid of – crucial in a downsizing move.
Once you have filled the container, a team will come along and transport it to your new property, ready to be unloaded.
Be brutal with discarding your possessions
When you are downsizing, there is no room for sentimentality. You won’t have the room to store all your current possessions, even if you tried.
This means you have to ruthlessly sell, give away or donate items, even if you are fond of them. Working out what you are keeping and what you are getting rid of will largely come down to practicality.
The items which serve a specific purpose (such as beds, couches, tools and TVs) are more important to keep than old clothes you are never going to wear again, old furniture you keep around for the sentimentality or the ageing blender you received as a wedding present twenty years ago.
Think about your new lifestyle
When discarding items and choosing what to keep, reflect on the lifestyle you are going to have. If you are downsizing, chances are your life is taking a different turn.
Perhaps you are growing old and want a slower pace of life, or maybe your kids have grown up and flown the nest. Whatever your reasons, your new way of life will inform what you pack and what you don’t.
Remember, be realistic about what you are going to need – because superfluous items will cost a fortune to store separately.
Measure out your new property
It is a smart idea to know exactly how large your new property is before you move into it. It can be easy for your eyes and memory to deceive you when you first view your new home. Rooms can appear large when empty, but they may be too small for your current furniture.
To gain a more accurate reading, measure out each room with a measuring tape. This way, you can measure up your furniture to see if it will fit properly.If it doesn’t, it may be easier to sell your current items and buy new furniture when you move in.
Remind yourself of why you are downsizing
As has been previously mentioned, downsizing can be an emotionally sensitive process. You can become disheartened about your move or yearn for days when a larger property suited you better.Moreover, getting rid of belongings with a special place in your heart is tough, and can feel like you are saying goodbye to an entire chapter of your life.
In these instances, you should remind yourself of exactly why you are moving, and why it will have a positive impact on your quality of life. Perhaps it will be lower maintenance, or maybe it will allow you to save money to do enjoyable leisure activities. Whatever the reasons, keep them close at hand during the tough moments, because it will allow you to think clearly and approach the move from a positive mindset.