Downsizing to a Smaller Home

DOWNSIZING TO A SMALLER HOME

This is something many of us will face at least at some point in our lives. It may be that you’re moving to a smaller home because the kids have left and you don’t need the 3 or 4 bedroom house anymore. Or maybe you’ve decided you’d like to live in an apartment rather than a house which comes with maintenance of lawns etc. There are many reasons and my co-writer, Peter, and I explored this subject in an entire chapter of our book “Make Space For Life” – you can see this featured on the homepage of my website.

Whatever reason is having you downsize your home, this is a huge decision making process, and not an easy one. The biggest hurdle though for most of us is working through the mass of belongings we own, not only the furnishings from a larger home, but also sports equipment, the contents of a busy tool shed, and of course the many mementoes we’ve gathered over the years.

We outlined in our book the first step in the process to help with your decision making. With notepad and pen in hand, go from room to room and write your lists:

– What to keep: can’t live without it / definitely need
– What to sell [or even leave for the next occupant of the house]
– What to give away
– What to store [if applicable]

You will probably want to consult with anyone else who is moving into the new home with you: spouse, kids etc, as they will no doubt have firm ideas on what they wish to keep. They might like to make their own list, with the caveat that some culling is required.

Peter added a note here, which I agree wholeheartedly with:
“Before you go through the list of items below for your decision making process, please bear in mind that we can become prisoners of our possessions. There is a certain sweet pleasure in living a more minimalist lifestyle, and there is often a tremendous feeling of freedom when we let go.”

And this is the list of items we are referring to and what you will need to make decisions on, which doesn’t include furniture or contents of the tool shed and garage:

– Kitchen equipment and the contents of kitchen cupboards and drawers
– The contents of your linen cupboard
– Books
– Clothes
– Music
– Pictures and framed photos
– Collectibles and memorabilia

Once you’ve made your lists on what you’re definitely keeping, what can be culled, and what can be re-distributed to charities or sold on Trade Me then it will be a matter of planning how it’s all going to happen.

– Schedule in your diary when you’re going to make a start, and possibly schedule in a few 2 or 3 hour blocks at least to start with.

– Can you rope in a member of the family to help you, or would you prefer to work away at the project quietly on your own.

– Decide which room you’re going to begin with and start mentally preparing what you have to do in your head.

– When you’re ready to dive in, have a rubbish bag, give away box, and sell online container within easy reach so you’re not just piling everything up in a corner which you’ll then have to decide how to allocate.

This can be a lengthy task, especially if you are going from a very large home to a much smaller one, or an apartment. It can also seem daunting and stressful. It often helps to visualise what your new place looks like, and think about how lovely and uncluttered it is going to feel once you’ve settled in. You will only have items around you that you need or love, and that’s a wonderful feeling. And there’s a sense of freedom and harmony in having space in your living environment.

If you need any help do contact me. Above all, be kind to yourself, if you’re going through this process for whatever reason take it as gently and calmly as you can. I believe you can definitely get much more done with a clear calm mind than trying to rush things which will only result in having you feel overwhelmed.

I wish you a wonderful month ahead, with joy and blessings.

In Joy!

Angella Gilbert

P: 09 410 4166
M: 027 224 8937
E: angella@gioia.net.nz
W: www.gioia.net.nz

Please feel free to forward this newsletter on to anyone you feel may be interested.

They can subscribe via this link: RSS Feed