Our simple guide to downsizing

If your house move involves downsizing to a smaller property, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to fit all your stuff into your new place. The answer is to declutter! Don’t take everything with you.

But if  the mere thought of decluttering fills you with dread, here are our top tips to help you sort through everything and make the move easier.

1. Make it manageable

The prospect of decluttering your whole property can be overwhelming, especially if you’re downsizing to a much smaller home. To avoid those anxious feelings, have a plan and sort through your belongings little by little, room by room. It’s much more manageable if you chunk it down and do it a bit at a time.

We recommend also starting with the smaller rooms, such as your bathroom or spare bedrooms. You’ve probably got fewer belongings in these, so it won’t be as daunting a task. Starting small like this will help you ease yourself slowly into your decluttering.

Then, you can build momentum and tackle the bigger rooms when you’re in the swing of it.

2. Start early

Don’t leave your downsizing until the last minute! You don’t want to be starting it the week before you move. You’ll only end up more panicked and overwhelmed.

Begin decluttering as soon as you know you want to downsize. This might even be months before you find your new home. That way, you’ll be able to declutter room by room and make it easier on yourself (also see step 1!).

3. Get some help

Sometimes, it can be extremely difficult to part with belongings you’ve had for years. So why not ask a friend or two to help you?

Having help from someone with no attachments to your items will help you see things from their perspective. This will make it easier to get rid of things you really don’t need to hang onto. It’ll also be more fun doing it with someone else.

There are also professional declutterers who can help you, if you don’t have a willing friend to step in. Check out the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers to find someone near you.

4. Be ruthless

It’s natural to find an excuse to keep things you don’t really need. Be ruthless and get rid of everything you no longer use, need or wear.

Clothes in your wardrobe that you’ve not worn for months? Take them to the charity shop or sell them online (eBay or Facebook Marketplace are good for this).

Books you’ve read or no longer want to read? Again, donate them to charity, a local school or see if your local library will have them.

Kitchen equipment or household items you don’t use anymore? If it’s just sitting there gathering dust or still in its box, sell it or donate it.

5. Get rid of duplicates

Do you have more than one of the same thing? If so, getting rid of the duplicates is an easy way to declutter.

Start with checking your kitchen cupboards, as this is where you’re most likely to have duplicates. Is it really necessary to have six bags of pasta or ten bottles of washing up liquid?

For duplicate food items, if it’s still in date, why not donate it to your local food bank?

6. Donate or sell

Knowing the things you’re disposing of are going to someone who may need them more will help make it easier for you. Donate your clothes, books and some household items to a local charity.

If you have furniture or electrical items you no longer need or that won’t fit in your new home, the British Heart Foundation will collect them to sell in their shops.

For some items, you might want to consider selling them online, such as on eBay or Facebook. Or, if there’s one near you, how about taking your stuff to a car boot sale? But don’t be tempted to buy more clutter there!

7. Set yourself goals

Setting yourself some goals will help massively with your downsizing. It will make it more rewarding and fun to tick off each goal as you complete it.

For example, give yourself a deadline for completing each room or each area you need to declutter. Can you beat your deadlines or can you achieve more than you’d intended in each session? Some light competition with yourself might help you get the decluttering done quicker!

8. Reward yourself afterwards

And importantly, after you complete each goal, reward yourself for it. You deserve it!

But don’t buy any more clutter!

Instead treat yourself to a day out or doing something you enjoy. Experiences and memories make you happier than having material possessions, after all.

9. Repeat your decluttering regularly!

When you’re downsizing, you’ll need to be ruthless with your decluttering. But once you’ve done it, you’ll realise that a home without lots of clutter is much nicer.

So, keep your new home clutter free by repeating your decluttering regularly. We recommend doing it at least once a year. That way, you’re keeping on top of it and not hoarding unnecessary items.

If you need help to dispose of your decluttered items, our clearance service will take them to a recycling centre for you. We can also do this alongside your removal, taking your items to be recycled a few days before your house move. Contact us for more information.

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