Downsizing: 7 Tips

Photo: Erda Estremera

There are many reasons to downsize and everyone seems to have a different answer. From wanting to have more time to devote to hobbies, interests, family and friends to having to spend less money on upkeep of a larger home – and some people just want a change. There are many reasons! What are some of the downsizing tips?

Why Are You Moving?

Knowing why you want to move is important.   The number of older people who, for example, have moved to inner city apartments from suburbs has receive extensive coverage.  Usually the reasons include: being able to walk to sporting, cultural events and city landmarks, maintaining a lifestyle and being able to ‘lock up and leave’ without having the worry of looking after a garden. But. It’s not always a city move for downsizers.

11 boxes on a truck loft about to be loaded onto a truck, 7 downsizing tips
Photo: Markus Spiske

Downsizing Tips: Where Are You Going To Move?

‘I felt pressured to move to a retirement village’, a retired single lady told me.  ‘I couldn’t find one in which I thought I would be happy’.  My friends said I was mad not to move to a village, but I just felt that it wasn’t me’ She moved to a unit that has six others in the block and is now happy.

Researching what type of housing you want to live in is important.

Checking the expenses, amenities, facilities, neighbourhood is vital – moving is an expensive business. It can be quite emotional, with lots of memories to leave behind.

Downsizing Tips: What’s Your Living Style?

Do you see your home as a fortress?, as a stopover?, an escape from a busy outside?, as something that you like to spend a lot of time in?, as a place where you can spread and indulge in hobbies?

It goes without saying that we are all different and live differently. If we are fortunate to have a choice in where we live it’s  good idea to spend some time thinking about ‘how we live’.

Measure Twice (or three times) And Cut Once

I once visited an apartment of a couple who had done amazing work furnishing their ‘downsized living’ with pieces from a previous home and new furniture.  Their secret?  Careful measuring of their new home.  They actually ‘measured, measured, measured’, and then had cut outs of their furniture put on a plan on their apartment (scaled, of course).

I only wish another couple had gone to the same lengths.  They had moved from a large established home. Mr had a passion for woodwork. He soon found that his hobby was not so well catered for in their new home; ‘I didn’t realise the garage was smaller, I need to back out the car to work!’. Likewise, his wife a keen crafts person, found frustrations with not having an area that catered for her hobbies.   

Consult A Professional

Before moving there are lots of decisions to make. Importantly, one will undoubtedly be around:  finances.

a Key on a keychain in front a a miniature house that has a grey roof, a white and red sides and front, downsizing tips
Photo: Tierra Mallora

Engage A De-Clutterer/Organiser?

Who would have thought ages ago there would be people who call themselves ‘de-clutterers’!?

Their business names are many, but it may help to at least chat to one. Such people and businesses may take the pain out of downsizing.

What are your downsizing tips?

Jill Weeks is the author of 21 Ways To Retire and co-author of Where To
Retire In Australia and Retire Bizzi. Information Provider For Great Retirement Lifestyles.
She is a regular contributor to radio
.

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