Continuing the Downsizing theme for this week, I thank Tracey Warren from Professional Organising Solutions for her downsizing tips.
For many people, the thought of downsizing is daunting because they are worried about having to pack up and move, and they have too much “stuff” to fit comfortably into a smaller space. They are attracted to the benefits of downsizing; they no longer need a large home, and they don’t want to spend their time and money on maintaining it. However, a person may have lived in their current home for decades, and have accumulated a lifetime’s worth of possessions.
Here are some practical tips that may help you:
A good starting point is to study the floorplan of your new home and visualise how you would like each room to look. You can use these mental images as a guide for deciding what to keep and what to dispose of.
Next, go through each area of your house and decide which items match your ideal image of your new home. A good place to start is outside the house. Will the new place have room for all of your outdoor furniture, BBQ and potted plants? You can now start a list of things to keep and things to go. Does the new place even have a shed? Will you need to use large items such as the lawnmower and wheelbarrow at your new home?
Continue writing your “keep” and “go” lists.
Back inside, work your way through the house room by room. Measure large furniture pieces such as lounges and dining tables with a tape measure, and check the floorplan of your new home to make sure they will fit. If not, start shopping for new furniture, as there is often a period of many weeks to wait before your order can be delivered. If possible, pay a deposit and arrange delivery for the day after you get the keys for your new home.
For many people, moving into a new home with a smaller kitchen is the most challenging aspect of downsizing. Your new kitchen will be disorganised and difficult to use if you try to cram too much into it. Go through all the cupboards, including the pantry. Have some packing boxes on hand so that you can pack any items that you want to keep, but won’t need before you move. If you will no longer be hosting large gatherings, you may find there are lots of pieces that you use for entertaining that you can either donate to charity or pass on to relatives. If you find that you don’t have enough space in your new kitchen after you move in and try to pack everything away, there are a number of things you can do:
- Have a look at efficient storage products. Howards Storage World has a big range.
- Is it possible to have extra cupboards added to the kitchen?
- You may have a cupboard in the lounge or dining room where you can store the overflow. It would be best to put things in there that are not used every day, such as your “best” china and glassware, serving dishes, etc.
Once you have completed your lists of what to keep and what needs to go, you are ready to work out what to do with the things you have decided not to take with you when you move:
- Throw away any items that are damaged. If you are throwing away large items, contact your local council to find out if they offer a hard rubbish collection service. Ring them as soon as you can, because these services are very popular and there may be a lengthy waiting list. If you are unable to access this type of service, you could hire a skip.
- Distribute heirlooms to the people you would like to give them to. Check first to make sure they actually want them!
- Sell unwanted items on Gumtree or EBay, or you could use the services of an auction house.
- Host a garage sale.
- Do you know any young people who are setting up their first home? They may appreciate some of the household or garden items you no longer need.
- Excess towels and blankets are always welcome at animal shelters such as the RSPCA or Animal Welfare League.
- Some charities will collect furniture, bric-a-brac and clothing that are in good condition.
If you feel that the downsizing process is going to be difficult for you, a Professional Organiser can help. I can help you to:
- Decide what to keep and what has to go.
- Decide what to do with the things that you are not keeping.
- Distribute/dispose of items in accordance with your wishes.
- Arrange packing and moving.
- Set up the new home.
- Prepare you old home for sale or rent.
If you only require help with some aspects of downsizing, that is fine, I tailor all services to suit each individual client, and the client is in control of making all decisions in regard to their possessions. My role is to provide expertise and hands-on assistance, and to make sure that the process runs smoothly.
Call her on 0423 694 452, or email firstname.lastname@example.org