9 top tips for downsizing and decluttering

Many people have been living in the same house for 40 years and have accumulated lots of memories and possessions along the way.

I would recommend people give themselves four to six weeks to determine what they are going to take to their next home, aiming to do one room at a time.   Like a lot of things in life, the 80-20 principle applies – you generally find you use about 20 per cent of possessions 80 per cent of the time.


The Moving Concierge top tips for downsizing and decluttering your lifestyle are:


1. Give yourself plenty of time. Tackle one room at a time and acknowledge the achievement as you finish each room.


2. Make three columns on a checklist, listing possessions as items to keep, “maybes’’ and those you no longer need. Hold on to the “maybe’’ items for a few weeks. If you don’t use them in that time, move them on. Don’t be afraid to sell unwanted items – selling your belongings has never been easier thanks to the proliferation of apps and online marketplaces.


3. Many people tend to have more cups, pots or plastic items than needed. Keep your favourites and move on the rest.


4. Knick-knacks can often hold a lot of sentimental value but can take a lot of space. Pick your favourite ones to keep and take photos of the rest for memories. Consider writing a little story to accompany the digitally stored images so that you can look back on them and reflect. One of the upsides is less dusting and cleaning.


5. Linen can take up an extraordinary amount of room. Instead of numerous sets of sheets, towels and blankets, trim that back to one set and a spare for each bed in the new home.


6. Beds that feature drawer’s underneath can provide valuable, additional storage and are used to great effect in apartment living.


7. Measure the floorplan of your new home. Consider the size and shape of your current furniture, some of which may be difficult to place in a smaller space. Mounting your TV on the wall of your new home instead of placing it on a bulky cabinet can save you space.


8. In the weeks leading up to your move, use up what you have stored in your fridge and pantry and only purchase items you will use each week. Don’t buy in bulk and stock up prior to moving. Once you make the move, consider how you shop for groceries. Newport Retirement Living is located close to shops, so rather than store enough food to last several weeks, save space by only carrying enough to last a few days.


9. Implementing these tips prior to moving will save you time, stress and money – all of which makes settling into your new home a lot easier.


If you would like some help with downsizing or decluttering you can speak to our Benefits+ partner Moving Made Easy. Click here to be taken to their website.


This article was written by Kym Phillips and the opinions expressed are those of the author.