There are many reasons behind the decision to downsize. Wanting a change in lifestyle, heading into retirement, children leaving home and financial gain are just some, but it can a difficult time of your life, not least because of all the happy memories you've had in the big family home. But when you've decided to move on, leaving those experiences behind can sometime be a stress-inducing process. Here are some tips for getting the most out of this next adventure.
One of the hardest aspects of moving to a smaller home will be adapting to the smaller living space, so plan accordingly. Give yourself plenty of time before you move in to plan and rationalise all of your belongings. This can be done months in advance - make lists of all the things you can't live without, but be thorough and ruthless with your choices. If you haven't used an item in more than 12 months, it must go. Be thorough - the kitchen, for instance, is one room that can hold many unnecessary items. Consider putting unused items on auction websites, donating them to charity or holding a garage sale.
Consider taking some measurements during the inspection process to help you decide what furniture you will physically be able to fit into your new home. You can compare these to rooms in your current house to get a feel for how the layout might work and even prearrange what furniture will work in the new space. For example, your future living room might be the same size as your current bedroom. You might think you can fit two couches but the comparison will put things in perspective.
3. Get help
Moving can be stressful at the best of times, not least when you've got a whole lifetime of belongings to go through. Getting a friend or family member to help you sort through them systemically will not only save time and avoid too much heavy lifting, they can help you make those difficult decisions. An objective, second opinion on sentimental items or pieces of furniture can make the process much more enjoyable.
Thinking of selling
The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.