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Downsizing? Things you need to know before moving

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

From storage tips to getting creative with closets, here’s everything you need to know before you downsize.

Whether you want to cut down on mortgage payments or simply crave a more maintainable space, there’s plenty of benefits to downsizing your home. One of the most difficult things about downsizing is figuring out where everything is going to go, especially if you’re coming from a place with ample space. Don’t let this put you off – there are plenty of ways to make the most out of your new home without feeling like you’ve sacrificed anything at all.

Start by putting together a sketch of the floor plan and draw out where your furniture will go. Try to be realistic with your drawing by checking out the real layout of your new home, which you should be able to find online or by contacting the estate agent. You could even ask for them to send over a copy of the floor plan for you to print and sketch over instead. Start by drawing in the essentials only before adding in the extras to ensure you have enough space for the most important parts of the room.

Sentimental storage

You’ll probably find that not everything will fit the way it did in your current home, but don’t worry – this is where external storage comes in. From self-storage in Southampton to convenient lockers in Birmingham, there’s a storage solution available in most parts of the country. A storage unit allows you to have access to your personal items whenever you want while preventing your home from getting cluttered. This is particularly handy if you plan on upsizing in the future, or for those who have sentimental items that they don’t want to get rid of for good.

As tempting as it may be to deck out your home with new furniture and ornaments, avoid doing so until you’re fully moved in. This way you can double check how much of your existing furniture fits into the home and what you actually need to replace. You don’t want to clutter your home before you’ve even moved in, nor do you want to fill it with furniture that just doesn’t look right. There are exceptions to this rule, such as if you know for certain that you’ll have to switch your sofa for a smaller one. Generally though, waiting until you’ve moved in allows you to get used to the space and decide what would look best, rather than guessing.

Be creative with your space

You may be used to having more room to play with, so you’ll have to get adjusted to a smaller home and consider what rooms to sacrifice. This may seem like a negative point, but you can get creative to make the best use of the new space. Used to enjoying a work space at home, for example? As weird as it sounds, you can transform a closet into an office with just a few adjustments, such as adding a fold-up desk and replacing the doors for curtains. Most homes have a cupboard under the stairs or utility closet, so put your stuff in storage and utilise these spaces instead.

If you have a few essential pieces but not enough floor space, be imaginative with your at-home storage solutions. Try using hooks to hang up your kitchenware rather than taking up valuable storage space or get clever with shelving by placing it up high and out of the way.

Keeping your floor clear of clutter is key to maintaining a clean and orderly downsized home, so try utilising storage and space on the back of a door or under the bed, as well as using storage boxes and baskets to keep everything organised.

These tips should help when it comes to downsizing and adjusting to a smaller home, take advantage of external storage, make the most of your space and enjoy the cosiness – and money-saving elements – of your new home.