Apr 26, 2012

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10 Top Tips To Help Downsize Your Home…

10 Top Tips To Help Downsize Your Home image

It is a common occurrence that we accumulate items over the years and the longer you are in one home the worse it is. We have cupboards and drawers full of stuff; furniture we don’t really need but keep “just in case”; and items that we’ve had for years and may be difficult to part with due to a sentimental attachment.

1. Assess Your Actual Needs

Someday, you may take up exercising, but the treadmill has been gathering dust for some time. Wouldn’t a good pair of walking/running shoes be more useful and take up significantly less space? Deciding what you really need requires a good long look at how you live your life and what you often use.

Take a walk through your house and evaluate everything you come across. Ask yourself if you’ve used it in the past year and, if so, how often? Be honest now!

For stuff that you really have a hard time getting rid of, make this agreement with yourself: Put the items in storage. If you don’t need or use them within 6 months, give, sell or throw them away.

2. Will everything fit?

Always measure your furniture as you will need to know if it will (or won’t) fit into your new space – particularly large items such as your sofa and your bed – so measure everything.

You will also need to get the room measurements of your new space. Ask if you can take measurements or if there is a floor plan available to you. Don’t forget about the location of doors and windows as this will be a factor in furniture placement.

Once you have these measurements, make a floor plan using your furniture’s measurements. This will give you a much better idea on what you can keep and what will have to go.

3. Assess Your New Storage Areas

How many times have you moved into a new place only to realise that you have overestimated the amount of storage space? While you’re getting room measurements, make sure to properly assess the storage space you’ll be inheriting. Will you have fewer kitchen cupboards? How many closets will you have?

Assessing exactly how much of the new space is dedicated to storage will give you an idea of the volume of items you need to dispose of before moving in. Don’t forget hidden storage areas you currently use in your old place. If you place a lot of items above the kitchen cabinets in your current home, for example, find out if the cupboards in the new place have storage in that area as well.

4. Ransack Your Old Storage Areas

Go through your storage areas first – you will be surprised to find out what you’ve put away instead of gotten rid of. If you’re like most of us, you will find boxes of items that haven’t seen the light of day for years and there’s a reason for this: you don’t need them.

Don’t forget to go through your bathroom cabinets, kitchen and “junk” drawers. We have a tendency to accumulate unnecessary items in these places.

5. Sell Your Stuff

Have a garage sale (or a better idea, organise one with neighbours or friends). If you need help organising or promoting a garage sale, contact Greg or Heidi at "What Garage Sale" www.whatgaragesale.com.au.

The Weekend Shopper in the Courier Mail or The Trading Post is a good avenue for selling larger items such as furniture, appliances and home decor items to people living in your area. eBay is a good venue for selling items but make sure to take good quality photos and offer good descriptions.

Used designer clothing can be resold in consignment shops. These stores can be found in your local business directory.

6. Get Organised

Before you move into your new place, it’s a good time to work out some storage solutions for your stored items. You can do this as you pack. Place your storage items in decorative storage boxes that can be moved and placed in the new storage areas without much effort. Plastic bins are great for moving and storing, come in many sizes, are stackable, and the see-through ones make finding what you need a snap. But don’t forget to label everything by room.

7. Move Large Items First

Move your furniture into your new home first. You will have the most energy for this task at the beginning of the move and it will also give you a better indication of where the smaller things will go.

Do not merely fill a room with furniture with the idea of sorting it all out later. There is nothing worse than trying to navigate through small rooms littered with boxes and stacks of furniture after a day of moving.

Place furniture in the rooms as you go, according to the plan you made earlier. If you have done your homework correctly, your big items should fit in nicely and already give you a sense of home.

8. Organise Boxed Items

Your labelled boxes can now be put into their respective rooms and the unpacking can begin. Begin with the bathroom, as that is the room most likely to be needed immediately. If you have only kept the basics, unpacking this room will be a breeze.

9. Organise Your Space As You Unpack

Utilise wardrobe and cupboard storage solutions as you unpack. This way, more can be stored in these tight spaces and you will be setting a precedent for how your new, smaller space will be used. Don’t fall back into lazy habits or your downsized place will get you down.


10. Relax And Enjoy!

You no longer have to worry about the financial burden or time draining tasks of maintaining a home too big for your needs and you have simplified your life by surrounding yourself with only those things that are most important to you. Celebrate!

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