Is it time to consider downsizing your home? Retirement is just around the corner, your children have fledged the nest and your house is now starting to feel a little bit too big for just yourself. Although it can be a daunting process, with the right planning, it can be an exhilarating and liberating experience.
Because it may be difficult to know where to start, we’ve put together some useful tips to walk you through the whole journey:
1. Determine your lifestyle needs
Now that you don’t have to worry about whether you’re within walking distance to prestigious schools or the safety of your neighbourhood, its time to think about what you want. Consider what kind of lifestyle you would like to live moving forward— would you enjoy having the ocean at your doorstep; or would you prefer living in an apartment close to city amenities such as museums and lots of restaurants?
During this decision process, sites like Liveable are extremely useful to help prioritise your needs, as well s to offer suggestions about what suburbs may best suit your ideal lifestyle.
2. Assess your new home
Once you’ve decided on your new home, scrutinise the blueprints and find out exactly how big each room is. This is a vital step to decide which large pieces of furniture to bring with you.
If you simply can’t visualise how big a certain area is, a handy tip would be to compare the size of your new rooms with rooms of similar dimensions in your current house. For example, your living room-to-be may be approximately the same size as your current bedroom. By comparing the two, it may give you a clearer idea about exactly what furniture can fit where.
3. Be practical when decluttering
When looking at what to bring with you, be practical. For example, if you’re moving to an apartment, you won’t need appliances like your lawn mower or ladder anymore. In the same vein, if you’ve been hoarding clothes that no longer fit or don’t wear anymore, consider giving them away to charity instead of letting it clutter up your new home.
Of course, things get a little less clear cut when it comes to sentimental items. Although it may be difficult to throw out the badminton trophy your son won in the fourth grade, it is important to take a step back and think: will I really miss this item? Perhaps keep a couple of sentimental items that you hold close to your heart, and take a snapshot of the remaining memorabilia that do not make the cut.
4. Ensure furniture serves a multi-purpose function
Living in a smaller area means that you will no longer have the luxury of having very many pieces of furniture in your house. However, having less possessions does not mean that you will have to compromise on comfort.
When shopping for new furniture or when choosing what pieces to bring over to your new home, try to pick out multi-functional pieces. For example, opt for a dining table that you’d be comfortable to also use as a study desk. Sofas that can be converted into sleeper beds will also come in handy, especially if your new place does not have a spare guest room.
5. Colour code your boxes
Packing your life away into a couple of boxes can get messy. To help with the process, it will be useful to implement a colour-coded system to organise your belongings. Mark the boxes with kitchen appliances with a red marker, boxes with your bedroom belongings with a blue marker, and so on so forth. Although this takes a little extra effort during the packing phase, it will make unpacking in your new home much more efficient and fuss-free.
Also published on Medium.