1. We spend most of our lives upsizing (when we take most of what we own with us). So the experience of downsizing is usually a new journey for most & will involve farewelling lots of items.
  2. Write down your reasons for downsizing & when you hit “roadblocks” revisit your reasons and goals to get you back on track.
  3. Most people downsize to make life easier and homes easier to manage, so have a clear plan of how you want to use each room in your new space –
    • Do you really need a guest room if you only have guests a couple of days each year?
    • Do you need saucepans of every size when you only use 2 or 3 different sizes?
    • Do you need 20 coffee mugs?    ….
  4. moving-to-aged-care-melbourneClearly understand that you are downsizing for YOU, not your furniture, e.g. are you looking for a new home for your wall unit? I often hear, “most townhouses are too small & I won’t fit my furniture?”  Again, are you downsizing for you or your furniture?  Rethink & embrace your goals for downsizing – you can’t take everything from a large house to a smaller house.
  5. Being organised, having good storage options & flexible furniture will help, but you will still be limited by the space that you have.
  6. To decide what to take – sort items into functional (what you use & need, i.e. must take), favourites (what you love = must take) & farewells (items that can go – sell, give, donate, toss)
  7. Nowadays there seems to be a gadget for everything –
    • Focus on keeping more flexible items.
    • Do you really need the juicer when you haven’t made juice in years?  Maybe upgrade to 1 kitchen aid that can do lots of tasks, instead of lots of aids that only do 1 task each
  8. How you farewell what you will need to let go will depend on the amount of time you have to exit your home & action items –
    • Check out your closest auction house & see what can be sold
    • If you are comfortable with listing items online & have time, offer items for sale
    • Offer items to family & friends (but give them deadlines of when items must be taken)
    • Chose charities you can give items to – be content to pass items on to others who may need them
    • Dispose of the rest – make sure you take advantage of any council hardwaste free pickups
    • Remember lots of items have a “use-by-date” – furniture can deteriorate, be superseded by more comfortable & better designed pieces, toss any items that are compromised (broken, chipped, etc)
  9. Sometimes putting some items in storage is useful –
    • if you are unsure whether they will suit your new place or you have sold your home before buying your new smaller home.
    • Be careful, however, as storage costs can mount up over time.  Set a time limit when you will clear the storage unit.
  10. Try not to let what you needed in the past hold you back from enjoying a new lifestyle.  If you can’t make decisions & need sorting help, call allsorters or another professional service in your area
Mary J Harnan BBus, Owner – founder – allsorter – 3a home sorting specialist
Aging Specialist & CD Specialist (ICD), Expert Member of AAPO (Aust Assoc of Prof Organisers), ICD Certificates in Hoarding, Life Transitions, ADD, Mental Health Issues
Based in Balwyn North, Vic, I have sorted 100’s of homes & helped 100’s of clients. I regularly speak about 3a decluttering, downsizing & my 3F’s for letting stuff go