According to reports, around 55,000 homeowners opt to downsize each and every year, enjoying the benefits of a smaller property. These benefits include releasing equity, living in an easier-to-manage home, lower maintenance costs and heating bills. But there are, of course, some considerations to make when moving from a larger to a smaller property – most notably, where’s all your stuff going to go?

The good news is that while downsizing your home can seem overwhelming, it’s not quite as challenging as it may seem to reduce your belongings accordingly. This is especially true if you break the task down into four separate aspects, deciding what to take, what to sell or donate, what to replace, and what to store.


What to Keep

Deciding what you absolutely cannot live without is surprisingly easy (and you may find that there’s less than you think!). Your list should mostly comprise of personal items that cannot be replaced, such as your favourite photos you’ve got hanging in the living room and your children’s’ artwork that’s stuck to the fridge. It’s also worth keeping hold of items that would be particularly expensive to replace, essential items like telephones, and small items (jewellery and expensive accessories) that it will be easy to find a place for at your new property.

What to Replace

Financially speaking, it’s not worth replacing all the items that you own – it’s far more cost effective to take most essentials with you. However, have a think about anything you own that won’t suit your new property. If you have a large, double-doored, American-style fridge, for example, it may be worth replacing it with a smaller fridge/freezer. If you have a spacious super king size bed and are moving into a small double room, it’s a good idea to replace it with a bed that’s a more suitable size for the space.

What to Store

There may be some items that you don’t need in your new home, but that you don’t want to get rid of, or are not quite ready to let go of just yet. If you have a loft or attic space in your new home, this is the ideal place to store these items, but if not you may wish to consider temporary storage. Don’t rush into your decision to get rid of items because you may not be able to get them back. If you’re unsure about anything, store it until you’ve had more time to think it over. Let the dust settle, and reevaluate later.


What to Sell / Donate / Throw Out

If you have any items that have been shoved to the back corner of your loft and forgotten about for the last 10 years, then ask yourself if you’d really miss them if they were gone. Remember – you could get a fair amount of money selling on eBay or Gumtree, or you could helping to raise money for charity by donating unwanted items to your local charity shop. If you find anything that’s broken, or old clothes that are badly stained or torn, take this opportunity to have a good purge, and bin damaged items.

Staying Organised in a Small Home

The secret to maintaining a clean and tidy smaller home is to stay organised, and ensure all your belongings have their own dedicated space so that they’re not left on the floor, on work surfaces or tables where they can make your home look cluttered. Shelves are your friend, along with clever storage solutions such as storage pockets that attach to the backs of doors, or wheeled boxes that easily slide underneath beds or sofas. It’s also important to be logical when it comes to new purchases – try not to duplicate any items unnecessarily, and always consider the size of your home before buying any particularly large items like sofas, beds, or appliances. Make sure they fit before you commit!

For other ways to streamline and reduce costs, check out this infographic from CES reactive.