How to declutter and downsize your home
Moving home can be stressful and, if you’ve made the decision to downsize, you might be feeling overwhelmed at the thought of packing up your belongings and living somewhere new. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Use this short and simple guide to help you decide, declutter and downsize your home with ease this Spring.
Whether you’re downsizing to be closer to family, to free up funds for your retirement or just to live in a smaller, more manageable space, this 4-step guide will help make your move easier - get ready to enjoy living in your new home soon!
Step 1 - Plan
“Preparation is the key to success” as Alexander Graham Bell once said, and that’s true for any move, even more so if you’re downsizing your home. Don’t rush, but plan ahead and prepare to sort through each room methodically, including the loft and garage!
Add your target move date to your calendar and work back. You’ll likely want a few weeks to sort through your current property and many hands make light work as they say so why not invite friends and family to help? Their support will be invaluable as you come to make key decisions through the downsizing process.
Step 2 - Decide
Also known as the ‘declutter’ stage, decisions will need to be made as you prepare to downsize your home. Ask yourself a few keys questions, such as do you need it? Do you use it? And, as Marie Kondo says, does it bring you joy?
Think about the space you’re moving to; can you visualise where you’ll put this item? If you’re thinking of paying for extra storage, you probably don’t need it and it’s unlikely to bring you joy if you’re willing to store it elsewhere!
One final question to ask as you’re packing - could someone else benefit from this item? If the answer is yes, you could donate to charity or even sell on and use the money to fund something for your new home. If it’s a no, then stick it in the bin! If you struggle being decisive when decluttering your home, make sure you have a friend to help. Two heads are better than one.
Sorting through memories and years’ worth of belongings won’t be quick or easy, but it will be worth it. If you’re clearing out old filing cabinets and facing years’ worth of paperwork, remember to check it’s not important documentation and dispose of the documents correctly. Anything with your name or personal information on should be shredded.
Step 3 - Clean
As you pack your belongings and prepare to move, be sure to clean as you go. You’ll feel invigorated with each room that is complete and be ready to move on to your new home. When moving day arrives, have a team of helpers on hand to give your new home a deep clean before you begin to unpack.
Don’t forget to look up and down your new space. Cleaning your ceilings and floors will make a world of difference to any room. Plus, stock up on white vinegar, it’ll work miracles on the toughest of cleaning jobs!
Spring cleaning shouldn’t be limited to once a year. The principles of a deep clean and declutter are invaluable to any move, especially when downsizing your home. There are lots of helpful guides online with top spring cleaning tips for your home – try this free checklist from Martha Stewart and these 10 quick spring clean jobs from House Beautiful to get started with.
Step 4. Organise
Congratulations, you’ve decluttered, cleaned and are ready to unpack in your new space! When you’re moving in to your smaller home, consider the ‘purpose’ of any new furniture you buy and capitalise on every inch of available space.
Multi-purpose items are excellent for smaller spaces, like an ottoman or storage chest that doubles as a coffee table, or a sofa that converts to a bed for when the grandchildren come to stay. Take a step back and look at the shape of your room too. Use every angle and alcove to your advantage, like under the stairs shelving or cupboards for example. Have a quick look at these ideas on transforming smaller spaces from Ikea for inspiration.
Continue to declutter once you’ve moved in and organise your units too. Have you thought about mounting your TV up on the wall? This will free up valuable floor space, plus you could have a ‘mirror finish’ when the TV is not in use, adding a feeling of extra light to the space, or even a roaring fireplace scene to cosy up on the not-so-spring-like evenings.
Home is not just a place, it’s a feeling. Once you’ve moved in to your new house and organised your space with your favourite items, the feeling of home will soon follow. If you’re downsizing your garden as well as your home, try these 6 simple tips for a stunning smaller garden this Spring!
Are you getting ready to move? Learn how to calculate your budget and prepare for a quick sale in this round-up of our 4 must-have guides for moving home – including 4 FREE downloadable checklists.