Starting the process of downsizing can be an emotional time. So where do you begin? With Caboodle’s handy guide…
1 Start early
If you’re thinking of downsizing, you’ll need your house to be in the best condition possible. You’re selling the home you love and buyers like a spacious, clutter-free house so take a good look around and put what you won’t need for the next three months into storage.
2 Make a memory box
Moving from your family home is an emotional time, so pack one or two boxes with the belongings that aren’t used regularly but are important to you and have sentimental value. From baby’s first shoes to lost teeth; from photographs to precious ornaments, pack them up and store them safely.
3 Start at the top
Not sure where to begin sorting out your belongings? Get decluttering so you don’t end up bringing too many things to your new house that you don’t need. Start at the top of the house – if you have storage in the loft, be ruthless and get rid of what you don’t need and store what you might need or definitely want to keep. Ask yourself: “When was the last time I used this?” “When did I last see it?” “How would I feel if I never saw it again?”
4 Do little and often
Packing boxes and decluttering stirs up emotions, so try focusing on one corner a day and only spend one hour at a time. One day could be the bedroom drawers, the next the bathroom.
5 Ask yourself: is this worth keeping?
If you’re feeling ruthless, you could get rid of your book collection safe in the knowledge you can always read them on a Kindle. You could sell your record collection and listen to albums on Spotify for £9.99 a month. But if looking at your bookshelves or flicking through your vinyl brings you pleasure, choose your favourite ones to keep and then box them up and store them with Caboodle until you move into your new home. Remember if you don’t have the space in your new home and still wish to keep certain belongings you can consider longer term, cost-effective storage with Caboodle. You can also organise your storage by keeping a handy photo-catalogue of what’s in each box online so you always know where everything is.
6 Shop less
You’re trying to downsize, so this is not the ideal time to go on a shopping spree! If your birthday or Christmas is coming up, suggest that people buy you an experience (a meal out, theatre tickets or membership to something you love such as the National Trust) rather than items.
7 Feeling overwhelmed with downsizing? Come back to it tomorrow
Letting go of items you’ve had for years isn’t easy, so if you’re feeling emotional or overwhelmed take a break. Playing your favourite music as you go can stir up memories, but also lighten the mood.
8 Go window shopping
As much as you feel the pull of your own home, it’s time to get excited about your new one. Work out how much space you’ll need and if your old furniture won’t fit into your new space, think about who you could gift it to or perhaps ask a charity shop to collect if they offer that service in your local area. Then it’s time to consider a few new pieces that will fit in a smaller house to help make it feel like your new home.
9 Downsize your own way
Don’t feel pressured to get rid of something you really don’t want to. You know what you love, so don’t throw away anything of sentimental value you can’t buy back. If in doubt, order a couple of extra Caboodle boxes and pack anything you’re not sure about to give yourself a few months to make the decision. Photo-catalogue everything and you can always book a delivery and get it back anytime you want.
10. A new chapter
Sometimes less is more and once everything is settled and you’ve moved in, you will be able to make a start on turning your new house into your new home.