Three Steps to a Stress-free Move When You're Downsizing

13 November 2019

In an ideal world, ‘moving day’ means moving into the home of your dreams. But sometimes it means downsizing. Whether you’re packing up and moving in order to advance your career, or you’re buying your own flat, downsizing from a house to a flat can be a shock to the system. You may take some time to adjust to a smaller living space and you could start to miss all the extra furniture and belongings you were able to fit into the old place.

That said, you needn’t let downsizing get you down. These tips will help you make the move from a house to a flat without too much disruption.

Get Your Head into the New Space

One of the top challenges you could face when you downsize from a house to a flat is getting used to small-space living. One of the most effective ways to prepare yourself for this transition is to start mentally adjusting to the concept of downsizing and all that will entail before you start to pack up your old house.

Begin by assessing all your furniture and possessions in terms of usefulness versus space requirements. For example, how much does your extra couch contribute, when you already have a futon that seats the same number of people and can fold out into a bed? This re-evaluation of your belongings will help you decide what is especially useful (given how much space they take up) and what would only be a waste of space in your new flat.

Categorise Your Belongings

When you’re packing up to move house, take the time to decide for certain what you actually need in your new space, and what you could get by without. Pack the things you simply cannot live without in boxes labelled as “Taking”. The things you really like having around but don’t technically “need” can be put in boxes labelled “Storage.”

Finally, take the opportunity to get rid of the rest of your things, whatever has not made it into either of these piles. Though you may not like to admit it to yourself, this stuff is clutter. Basically, you don’t need it anymore, and it would be a good idea to finally get rid of it. Whether you choose to donate things that could still be of use to others to your preferred charity or sell things on eBay, now is the time to do a clear-out. When you choose the former, try to donate only items that are still good to use. Downsizing automatically means you still have many items in good condition. You’re only moving from a larger space to a smaller home. Donate to charity whenever you have the opportunity to do so. For easy identification, remember to label the boxes meant for this purpose.

Short-term Storage is a Movers Best Friend

When it’s time to load your boxes onto the moving van, now is the time to set aside your “storage” boxes to go into (you guessed it) storage. Why? Because it’s helpful to give yourself time in your new place to work out exactly what you need from the “storage” category, so you don’t clutter up the small living space with things that don’t contribute much to your lifestyle. 

Once you have a sense of how the space works for you, you’ll know which items from the “maybe” boxes will add value to your life (either by adding convenience, or just because they make you happy!) and which you can do without. Once you’ve made up your mind, take your items out of storage and rehome the things that have not ultimately made the cut.

Whether you’re downsizing because you’re moving to a new city, or moving on from a relationship, going from a spacious home to a small flat can be hard. These tips will help you manage the move to your best advantage.