Scaling down without the downside

Are you thinking of downsizing? There are many different reasons why people might want to consider scaling down their living space. These range from moving from a larger house in the country to a flat in town for convenience reasons, to empty nesters who simply don’t need all that space anymore or elderly people who want to make life – and housework – easier for themselves and move into a smaller space with the benefit of smaller household bills.

Whatever the reasons, downsizing is not an easy process. We attach memories and feelings to possessions we accumulate over the years and suddenly having to part with a large portion of those possessions can be difficult.

Here at APDO, one of our aims is to make life easier for you and with that in mind we have put together a list of tips that you can follow to make the job of downsizing a little bit more effortless.

Five Downsizing Tips

  1. Map out the new space
    Once you know exactly how much room you have in your new space, it will be much easier to realistically plan. You can then decide much more easily what to keep and what to get rid of as you know your new limitations.
  2. Start with the least emotionally charged areas
    It is probably easier for you to edit items from the garage or your kitchen than it is to get rid of items from your living room or bed room. Start where you are going to achieve more in a shorter time period to gain momentum.
  3. Plan ahead
    Downsizing is hardly ever a job that can be achieved in a weekend so don’t leave it until the last minute. Start at least three months before your moving date, and tackle one room or area at a time. Reward yourself for each room that you have finished – but not with more items that you’ll need to find a space for!
  4. Chunk it
    Don’t do too much at once. Limit yourself to two hours, then give yourself a break. Making constant decisions on what to keep and what to get rid of can be emotionally exhausting.
  5. Sell, Donate & Recycle
    When downsizing you are usually not dealing with broken and unusable items but with functioning and valuable pieces that you are simply no longer going to have space for. Don’t just send them all to landfill, but sell, donate and recycle whatever possible. Selling on Ebay and Gumtree can provide you with some income from your unwanted items, whereas local charities or Freecycle will help you get rid of usable items for free.

Decluttering can be a cathartic and freeing process. Chances are you’ll feel lighter, less weighed down by stuff and have more mental clarity when your surroundings are clutter free and you know that everything you own will fit into your new space with ease.

If you cannot face this process on your own why not get a professional to help. Professional organisers and declutterers can give you expert advice on how to best deal with the process and can give you a detached, non-sentimental opinion on how to proceed most efficiently and easily.

The Find An Organiser section on our website will help you find a professional organiser to suit your needs near you.

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