As real estate agents in Sutherland, we understand that one of the big challenges of downsizing is how to deal with all your possessions. In this article, we give you some tips on how to manage decluttering easily. And remember: downsizing and decluttering can help you live longer.
Room-by-room tips for decluttering your home
Our top piece of advice is to start early. If you approach the task room by room, you’ll find it a manageable process. Even better, get a friend or relative to help, or ask your local council or community centre about other options for getting help. You might learn that there’s a schools volunteer program or other local volunteers who can pitch in.
Getting started: Place a donations box by your front or back door
You can add to it as you work through your home. As it fills up, take the contents to a local charity or give items away to friends and family.
Furniture: Now your family has flown the nest, you don’t need all that seating and table space or storage. Give it away to younger relatives or friends, or donate it to a local charity like St Vincent de Paul in Caringbah.
Ornaments and pictures: Assemble all your ornaments and pictures on your dining room table so you can see everything you have. Keep what you love (and will have room for in your new home) and give away what’s left.
Family photos: If you have a large number of family photos in frames, consider digitising most of them and keeping the most important ones in frames.
Books: Consider carefully how many books you think you can take to your new home, then choose 30-60 favourites. The rest you can donate to a local charity or community centre.
Clothing: Get a friend or relative to help you sort through all your clothes and try to end up with around 35 pieces of clothing. Donate clean clothing to a local charity.
Shoes: Pare down your shoe collection to a maximum of 10 pairs and donate the rest.
Jewellery and ornaments: Keep your favourite pieces of jewellery and some ornaments. Give the rest away to family and friends, or donate it to a local charity.
Toiletries: Start using up what you have then go through your vanity or bathroom cabinet and discard anything that’s out of date.
Medications: If you have pills, tablets or other medication that are out of date, put everything into a bag and take it all to your local chemist for disposal.
Kitchen equipment: Give away, donate or throw away kitchen items you never use. You no longer need to feel guilty about not using that juicer or the vertical grill!
Crockery and cutlery: Give away your everyday crockery and cutlery and start enjoying using your ‘best’ sets. (Why not?)
Food: Discard tinned or packaged food you’ll never use or is out of date.
Tea towels: Keep half a dozen tea towels and give the rest away.
Cleaning supplies: Use up existing cleaning products as you prepare your home for sale. Once you’ve done with them, discard.
Choose the bed linen and towels you love the most (six sets should be plenty), then donate the remainder. Charities will gratefully accept clean bed linen and towels of reasonably good quality. Your local vet will appreciate anything linens and towels that are a bit threadbare to use as bedding for animals kept overnight after surgery.
Can we help with advice on downsizing?
Having navigated the home sale and downsizing process not only for our real estate clients but also for members of our own family, it’s an area in which we’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge. So don’t hesitate to seek out our help – no obligations.