The word downsizing can conjure up all kinds of feelings. Some people love the idea of minimising their space but for others, downsizing can feel like a loss.
Large family homes, treasured furniture and beloved gardens can hold special memories, but they are also a chore to maintain.
Downsizing, or rightsizing, can lead to a more fulfilling and relaxed life spent on leisure activities of your choice, rather than an unending list of home maintenance.
Retirees can often leave downsizing until it’s too late and they no longer have the energy to undertake what can sometimes be a challenging task.
Many retirees chose to downsize while they are still young and active and enjoy the full benefits of retirement living. It’s also important to give yourself ample time to downsize. The process of parting with a lifetime of accumulated possessions can take months and is something that should not be rushed.
How to downsize
Start with the end in mind
Rather than looking at your current furniture and belongings and wondering which ones to keep, consider your new home and its layout and size. What furniture do you need for the space and what essential household items do you need for everyday living? Make a list and then ‘shop’ from your existing belongings. Or alternatively, moving into your new retirement home might be a perfect opportunity for some updated furniture and appliances. Be sure to check doorway sizes to ensure you can move your items in.
Organise what’s left
Sort your remaining items into the following categories:
- Give: items and furniture that is still in good condition that can be given to family or friends who will use them.
- Donate: Items that still can be used by others.
- Sell: This is optional and involves a bit of extra effort but could give you some extra cash to help with the move.
- Throw away: Sometimes furniture and household items have come to the end of their life and it’s time to part ways for good. Check your local council rules on the best way to dispose of unwanted items, particularly large appliances and furniture.
Sentimental items and photos
Sorting through special items, memorabilia, and photos can be one of the hardest tasks of decluttering. Memories are relived and it can be a nostalgic and emotional process.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Don’t feel burdened to keep items just because they were given to you. The gift was given to you and it’s up to you on how you use it.
- Can you share inherited heirlooms with family members?
- Digitize memories. Scan photos, tickets, postcards, and other printed memories and then make them available to share with other family members.
- If you have a collection of items, keep just one.
- Find closure by using items one last time.
- Collate special cards, letters, and pictures into a scrapbook, and use the margins to keep notes. This will keep memories organised and will become something that can be enjoyed by other family members.
Spring Lakes Resort is a thoughtfully designed over 50s community set on 50 acres of stunning riverfront land. With a 29-acre golf course and ample open space, you’ll feel a sense of peace and tranquility as soon as you arrive home. Designed for retirees who are active and independent but want the assurance of a secure community with a lot of the maintenance taken care of, you’ll fall in love with your modern home and well-appointed resort facilities that is also pet friendly. A future aged-care facility is planned for the resort. Find out more at www.springlakesresort.com.au