4 steps to make decluttering your home easier | Homewise

Moving home is one of the most stressful endeavours we take on in our lives, and if you've made the decision to move somewhere smaller the thought of the task that lies ahead can be quite overwhelming. Packing up and moving somewhere new is one thing; culling your personal items at the same time adds a further element to the process. If you're feeling anxious about sorting through your possessions and donating or throwing some away, 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.

Whether you’re downsizing to move somewhere closer to family, to free up funds, or have decided you would prefer 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

As Alexander Graham Bell once said, “Preparation is the key to success”, and that’s true for any move, even more so if you’re downsizing your home. Avoid rushing, and plan ahead. Prepare to sort through each room in your home methodically and carefully and don't forget to check the loft, any store cupboards, 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.

Take a moment to read our guide on preparing for the emotional impact of moving home, plus grab your free checklist for planning a stress-free move to help you along the way.


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 is well-known for asking; does it bring you joy?

Think about the space you’re moving to; can you visualise where you’ll put each 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 a quick or easy process, 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 everything correctly. Anything with your name or personal information on it should be shredded (also remember that shredded paper cannot be put in a household recycle bin).


Shelves covered in clutter


Step 3 - Clean

As you pack your belongings and prepare to move, it saves a lot of time if you clean as you go. With every completed room you'll get a sense of accomplishment and enthusiasm about the move will grow.. 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! Have you heard of these simple hacks to clean your house the smart way? Try them today!

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.


Organised linen shelves


Step 4. Organise

Congratulations, you’ve managed to declutter and clean and you're now ready for whatever the next step may be!

If you're downsizing and moving into a new, smaller home, carefully consider the 'purpose' of any new furniture or goods you purchase and make sure you capitalise on every inch of available space.

It's certainly worth considering multi-purpose items, they're excellent for use in smaller spaces. Items such as an ottoman or storage chest that doubles as a coffee table, or a sofa bed ideal to be used when you have guests to stay. Also take the shape of your rooms into consideration. Is there an alcove under the stairs, or perhaps either side of a fireplace that could be used for a cupboard or shelving? If you want a few ideas, take a look at the suggestions from Ikea for making the most of small spaces

It's easy to get back into old habits, so continue to declutter as you go along. If you've moved to a new property, unpacking is the perfect opportunity to take a look at everything once again. Little things like mounting your flatscreen TV on the wall will save floor space (and bring additional light into the room when the screen isn't in use.

Your home is not just a place, it’s a feeling. Once you’ve moved in to your new property and organised your space with your favourite things, 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!



Getting ready to move and looking for the perfect property? If you're over 60 and still considering your options, did you know that the Home for Life Plan could help you to secure your dream home anywhere in England or Wales for thousands less than the market value? 

If you want to find out how much your budget could be boosted by, try our online quick calculator. It's quick and easy to use and could provide you with a better understanding of your potential budget.