Downsizing – A Beginners Guide

The most common complaint you hear from homeowners or renters is that they don’t have enough space. This is in fact what spurs most house moves – the need for more space. But sometimes the opposite is also true. If you’ve been living in a big home with a bustling family for years, it can feel too big and lonely once the children leave the nest. This can be the perfect time to downsize. We often see this most with elderly parents, but really anyone of any age can decide they want a smaller home!

Downsizing comes with its own range of challenges, and one of them is what to do with your belongings. After all, you may have spent years filling that family home with memories, and not all of them will fit into a smaller property. So, what do you do? Here are a few tips to help you manage the downsizing process without the stress.

Use The ‘Four Boxes System’

If you’re a bit of a hoarder, or you struggle with letting things go, the prospect of downsizing and decluttering can be downright fear-inducing. But there is a really useful system you can use to make the whole thing simpler. Typically you would use this technique in one room, and then move on to another and do it again. It looks like this.

In each room, put 4 boxes. Go through every single item in the room, and sort it into one of these boxes. If the item is too big for the box (for example, a grand piano), then write the item name down on an index card and put that in the box, so you know where the item belongs. Don’t leave anything out, and don’t make any extra boxes.

These 4 boxes represent:

  • Keep
  • Store
  • Donate/Sell/Recycle
  • Bin

Simple, right? This helps you figure out what you want or need in the house with you, what you want to keep but could store, and what you want to get rid of, either by selling or donating, or throwing it in the bin if it can’t be salvaged. This system breaks down the process of downsizing into easy-to-handle chunks, and makes it much less of an intimidating task!

Hire Professional Movers

The moving process can be stressful, especially if you’re older, or you have other commitments you’re trying to juggle. Downsizing just adds one more layer to that, and often it’s too much to cope with at once. Luckily there are plenty of companies out there who will handle every aspect of the move for you – including packing! So all you need to do is declutter and decide what is going where. A moving company can then pack your home, move everything to the right places, and unpack bulkier items for you at the other end. Yes, it’s an extra expense, and often people pass it up when moving as a money-saving exercise. But we can’t stress enough how much easier the moving process is when you’re using professionals. If you can find room in your budget, hire a moving company – you won’t regret it.

Use Self-Storage

Depending on your circumstances, downsizing might not be a permanent thing for you. You might be relocating to a new part of the country (or world), or just taking a break from house hunting for a while. Or this might be your last move, and you want to stay where you are. In either case, you might not want to get rid of everything that won’t fit in your current, smaller property.

This is the kind of situation self-storage units were made for. You can rent a space of any size on a short or long-term basis, giving you the perfect place to store those items you might not have room for. Whether that’s the Christmas decorations and your best china or your sofa and sideboard, self-storage adds another option to the 4-box system.

If you have any questions about self-storage, or you want to find out more about how we can support you during downsizing, just get in touch with the team at Blue Box today. We’re always happy to discuss ideas, make suggestions and show you around the facilities, so you can be sure your precious possessions are in safe hands.

Centres in Watford , Maida Vale (Permanently Closed) , Hemel Hempstead , Farnborough Call us FREE on 0800 9171221