7 key downsizing tips

Is your home looking like an empty nest? Are you thinking of moving to a smaller home? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Research from the Productivity Commission* found that approximately 20% of Aussies aged 60 and over have sold their home and moved to a less expensive and smaller space.

The reason for downsizing includes to comfortably retire, to experience the sea/country change, or simply to move to a property that’s easier to manage. But how do you decide which items to keep and let go.  

Smartbox has helped thousands of Aussies downsize, thanks to our convenient and secure mobile self-storage solutions in Melbourne and Sydney. Here, we share some tips that may help you if you’re thinking of downsizing.

  1. Assess your new home – Before you start, make sure you get a copy of your new home’s blueprint or layout. This will provide you with information such as room sizes and the number of doors. Also, it’ll give you an idea of what will fit in each room and what won’t, making it easier to consider which items to keep and let go.

  2. Go through each room – Now, back to your current address, walk around and go through each room. Start with the rooms you use the least, this includes spare room/s, laundry and the garage. These rooms are often used for storage meaning there are plenty of objects that you don’t need to bring at your new place. Visiting each room helps you keep items that are useful, practical or sentimental.

  3. Measure everything – While you’re going through each room, equip yourself with a measuring tape, and measure all the items you want to keep. This will help you plan the layout of your new home.

  4. Track how often you use things – Next time you’re looking at that burger chair or that kid-size bed, ask yourself “when was the last time anyone has used this?” If you’ve used it recently, the next questions to ask is how often, why and what’s purpose does it serve? If you can’t answer any of these questions, then odds are this item can hit the curb.

    Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, items that have a sentimental value or have been passed down are always worth keeping. However, if it’s a large item or if you’d prefer that it’s store at a secure place, you may want to think about self-storage or a rental storage facility.

  5. Double duty items – Anyone who’s watched The Block or have visited a display home knows that the key trend in new homes and home renos is open plan living. Open plan living is where you remove partitions between rooms to create a large shared space. But how does this relate to downsizing? Now that you’re moving into a smaller home, you need to find ways to generate open spaces or at least an illusion that it’s larger than it is. One of the ways you can do this is to take double duty items. Some example of double duty items includes:

    Wine racks – use them as towel rack.

    End tables or side tables – to store smaller items, and to place desk lamps or vases. You can even go one step further and use it as a side bar, which is a sure fire hit at your next party.

    Narrow cabinets – maybe your new home is lacking storage space to hold kitchen equipment or linen, this is where narrow cabinets can help. You can use cabinets to store things such as fine china, glasses, towels and linens.

  6. Digitise – Do you have countless photos displayed at your current home? Are you finding it difficult to find space to display or store them? Then, digitising may help you. Digitising is perfect for converting your precious images into something that’s smaller. We suggest getting in touch with your closest scanning specialist to find out how you can turn loose photos, albums, cassettes and VHS tapes into digital copies.

  7. Consider a self-storage solution – If there are still items that you’d like to keep but want your new home to be clutter-free, then you may want to consider self-storage, especially for bulkier items such as couches, beds and tables where furniture storage may help. Self-storage is perfect for those who are looking to downsize and keep their valuables.

    The mobile storage solution offered by Smartbox is the ultimate in self-storage convenience. Our storage container or Smartbox is fully enclosed and weatherproof, ideal for storing your precious belongings. We’ll deliver your Smartbox, so there’s no need to haul back-breaking boxes in your car. You can even use our pack and load service, so there’s no need for heavy lifting. We’ll work with you to ensure that your valuables are packed and protected to withstand any potential forces during transportation and that it last the duration of its storage period.  

If you’re thinking of Downsizing and need additional storage space, contact us to find out how we can help you. Simply call us on 1300 880 800 to learn more.  

*Productivity Commission findings available in ABC News