Selling Houses Australia

How to de-clutter when you're downsizing

Moving house is an opportune time to cull a bunch of items you no longer want or need.

If you're downsizing because you no longer need the big family home any more, and you’ve had your family home for a long time, you probably haven’t had the luxury of changing your style much over the years and are therefore fine to put up with whatever style you’ve had.

So, when the opportunity comes for you to downsize and go somewhere else, it’s like a breath of fresh air. A lot of people end up getting rid of everything except their personal items as they can start from fresh. It’s actually a good thing, as when you’re downsizing to a smaller home, more often than not, the rooms aren’t as big and therefore your furniture is off scale.

It can be tricky to know what to take and what to do away with, so here are my top tips:

What to take with you

If you’re downsizing, look at the key furniture pieces you have, and how they can live on in your new space. Maybe you have a big lounge set that won't fit in the new space, but if your new home will only fit one of the chairs, perhaps you can use it as an occasional chair in the bedroom or the study, or as part of an eclectic look in your lounge room.

I do find that dining tables live forever. Invest in a solid, lovely piece and chances are you'll have it for years to come. A great table will travel with you. There’s something about holding on to a dining table as it’s lived a life with you.

De-cluttering advice

Go through all of your items and don’t get emotional: Look at things as memories. You don't need to hold on to all of the artwork from your kids. Perhaps frame one and then take photos of them all and save them on a cloud or hard drive. 

No to storage: Don’t drag things with you to the new place just because you may not have time to sort it. If you’re making that decision to downsize, and you know it’s coming why not start 12 months in advance? Do it before you put the house on the market and try not to put any of that old stuff in storage. It may never come out.

Get the family involved: Ask your kids or relatives if they want pieces of your furniture you'll no longer need and send unwanted items into new homes. When you pop over to your kids' house they might have something from when they grew up, which is a nice memory for you, without having to store it all in your home. My advice? Don’t wait until it's too late to give things away that mean something. It's ok to start sharing things around now.

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