10 useful tips to declutter and downsize your home

Making the decision to downsize your home, particularly if you have lived there for several years, is a significant one. While you may have moved home numerous times throughout your life and feel you have an idea of the process and knock-on impact, downsizing is a completely different prospect.

Not only must you consider which items you wish to remain with you, but you will also need to consider both your current and future needs, which can be an emotional upheaval.

To help, we have compiled a host of useful tips for downsizing and decluttering your home.

1. Consider current and future needs

When considering how to declutter your current home, particularly if you are making the move into retirement living, you need to take into account both your current and future needs.

This will have a significant impact on your approach to how you declutter and which items you decide to keep. Items that you may feel are essential now might not be required in a few years’ time. Keep this in mind as you make a start on decluttering.

2. Be practical

While it is important to be ruthless when decluttering your home, it is also important to have a practical approach. For example, when you move are you likely to have visits from grandchildren or other relations? Would your children enjoy watching certain films with you or perhaps scrolling through much-loved photograph albums? Consider the practicalities and what you will enjoy doing with family and friends once you move, this will help inform your decisions on what stays and what can go.

3. Grouping items

When sorting through clothes and other possessions, it can be easy to become lost in a sea of to-do lists and piles of items.

Group your items from the off, which will help your decluttering mission to stay in order. Divide your belongings into groups that you want to keep and those you are happy to lose. Even if you have to come back to your grouped items over a course of several days or weeks, knowing you have a well-established, organised plan in place will help.

4. Be realistic

We’ve all heard of the phrase to be ruthless, but realistic. When it comes to tips for downsizing, this is crucial advice. Strike a necessary balance between items you keep and others you throw away. Yes, is it important to clear the room, but try to not be too ruthless that you end up with an empty space once you relocate.

5. Go local

Once you have finished grouping and segmenting your items into those to keep and those to get rid of, you will need to consider how you will move them on or get rid of them. Of course, certain items which are damaged, broken or irreparable should be thrown away, but if there is a chance to pass on or sell other items in good condition, this is a good approach to have.

Box items up for local charity shops, post notices in your nearby newsagent and community centre – you never know what people are looking for and your unwanted items could find themselves in a new home.

If you’re feeling adventurous you could even consider a garden sale or even an auction between friends, where any proceeds go to charity or towards your moving costs.

6. Embrace digital

In today’s digital age, we are fortunate to have a wealth of websites at our fingertips, many of which can help you get rid of any unwanted clutter.

Auction sites, such as eBay, enable you to upload items for sale, with users then bidding the best price for these. It could be a great way to earn some unexpected cash for your higher quality items.

If you are happy to donate your bulkier items for free, there are plenty of charities with websites that would welcome items of furniture or clothing. Freecycle is a local site where you can donate larger furniture and beds for those looking for free-of-charge household items.

If the concept of embracing digital feels a little overwhelming, you could ask children, grandchildren, or close friends to help (it will also be an excuse for a cuppa).

7. Call on friends

When you are amid decluttering and downsizing your home, it can easily become overwhelming and an emotional ordeal, even if it is a decision you are happy with. This is where friends play a vital part.

Calling on your friendship groups will help you in several ways. Not only can they help practically, by assisting with sorting, taking items to local charity shops and carrying out the odd delivery, but their emotional support will significantly help your wellbeing during this time.

Boxing up items to take with you or packing suitcases of clothes is better shared with the companionship and support of dear friends. It will help make tasks that seem laborious feel much more light-hearted and fun.

8. Larger items

Larger, bulkier items like beds, sofas and other furniture can cause a headache when it comes to decluttering. Where possible, reuse the items you already have and consider the size of your new home and where larger items could fit.

Having larger items at the front of your mind will help you consider which items will physically fit in your new home and others that could be more problematic.

9. The sentimental things

Throughout your lifetime, you have likely compiled a fascinating collection of sentimental items, all of which evoke memories. From family photographs to holiday souvenirs, precious jewellery to clothing, the sentimental items are priceless and likely mean more to you than other possessions with a price tag.

Remember the sentimental things as you declutter and ensure these are top priority to take with you to reminisce on in the future.

10. Home is where the heart is

When decluttering and making lists of which items will go where, try and have it at the forefront of your mind which items make your house feel like a home. This mindset will help act as a cue if at any points you are unsure of what to keep.

Look around the main rooms in your house and consider what makes that space uniquely yours. It is important that once you downsize, you can keep that feeling of your new environment feeling like your own, and this exercise will help.

Find out more today

If you are considering downsizing to embark on retirement living, contact Platinum Skies today. Our friendly and approachable team are on hand to answer any queries you may have about your next exciting step.

We look forward to hearing from you.