Top Tips For Downsizing Your Home

Top Tips For Downsizing Your Home

Downsizing your home can seem like a monumental task, especially if you've lived in the same place for many years.

Whether you’re looking to move closer to family, reduce living costs, or simply declutter and live more simply, downsizing can be both a practical and emotional journey.

This guide will help you navigate the process with ease, ensuring you make the most out of your new, smaller space.

How Do You Drastically Downsize?

Drastically downsizing starts with a clear plan and a determined mindset. Begin by asking yourself why you want to downsize. Are you looking to save money, reduce maintenance, or live closer to loved ones? Understanding your "why" will keep you motivated and focused throughout the process.

Start Early

Begin the decluttering process as soon as possible. Giving yourself plenty of time to sort through your belongings will help you make thoughtful decisions rather than rushed ones.

Declutter One Room At A Time

Tackling one room at a time makes the task less overwhelming. Start with rooms that are less frequently used, like spare bedrooms or storage areas, and gradually move to the more commonly used spaces.

For more tips, see our guide around Decluttering Before Moving.

Use The Four-Box Method

Label four boxes as "keep," "trash," "donate," and "store." This method will help you systematically decide what to do with each item. Remember, the goal is to keep only what you truly need or brings you joy.

What To Get Rid Of First When Downsizing?

When downsizing, it's essential to be strategic about what to get rid of first. Here's a good starting point:

Unused and Duplicated Items

Look for items that you haven’t used in the past year or that you have in multiples. Kitchen gadgets, old electronics, and forgotten hobby supplies often fall into this category.

Large Furniture

Consider your new space and measure your current furniture. Large pieces like sectional sofas or bulky cabinets may not fit well in a smaller home and can often be sold or donated.

Sentimental Items

While this can be the hardest category, try to be realistic. Keep a few meaningful items, but consider taking photos of the rest before letting them go. This way, you preserve the memory without taking up space.

Is There A Downside To Downsizing?

Downsizing has many benefits, but it's important to be aware of potential downsides:

Emotional Stress

Letting go of items, especially those with sentimental value, can be emotionally challenging. It's essential to take your time and seek support from friends or family if needed.

Storage Costs

If you’re not ready to part with certain items, you might consider using a storage unit. While convenient, this adds an extra cost that should be factored into your budget.

If you need help, see our guide around How Much Is Storage Per Month In The UK.

Adjustment Period

Adjusting to a smaller space can take time. You might initially feel cramped or miss the extra room.

However, many find that the benefits, such as reduced maintenance and lower living costs, outweigh these challenges.

What Not to Do When Downsizing?

Avoid these common mistakes to ensure a smoother downsizing process:

Don’t Rush The Process

Rushing can lead to regrettable decisions. Start early and give yourself ample time to go through your belongings thoughtfully.

Don’t Neglect To Measure

Before moving, measure your new space and compare it to your current furniture. This helps avoid the hassle of moving pieces that won’t fit.

Don’t Overlook Storage Needs

Be realistic about how much storage space you’ll have in your new home. Avoid bringing items that won't have a place, and consider renting a storage unit for things you can't part with but don't have room for.

Practical Tips For Decluttering

Involve Your Family

If you have children, involve them in the process. Let them decide what they want to keep or donate from their old rooms.

Sell or Donate

Consider selling items that are in good condition. Use the proceeds to buy new items for your smaller home. Donating to charity is also a great way to give back and clear out your space.

Plan For Storage

If you’re not ready to part with some belongings, using a storage unit can be an effective solution. Here's how to make the most of your storage space:

Choose the Right Storage Unit

When selecting a storage unit, consider the size, location, and security. You want to choose a service that is not only convenient but will keep your belongings safe and protected.

Pack Your Items Properly

When packing your items for storage, be sure to use sturdy boxes and packing materials such as bubble wrap or packing paper. Label each box with its contents, so you can easily find what you need later. Avoid packing items that are too heavy or fragile and consider stacking boxes to maximise space.

Organise Your Storage Unit

If you choose to use self-storage, you will need to organise your items to maximise space.

Group similar items together, such as holiday decorations or sports equipment. Use shelves or stackable bins to maximise space and keep items easily accessible.

Regularly Re-evaluate Your Storage Needs

As time goes on, your storage needs may change. Be sure to regularly re-evaluate what you have stored and determine if you still need it. If you find that you no longer need something, consider selling, donating, recycling, or throwing it away.

If you are looking for an affordable self-storage solution that allows you to store by the box, visit The Box Co. today.

What Is The Best Way To Handle Sentimental Items?

Sentimental items can be the most challenging to part with. Consider these tips:

Create Keepsake Boxes

For items that hold significant sentimental value but are small, create keepsake boxes. This allows you to preserve memories without cluttering your new space.

Digitise Memories

Scan photos and important documents to reduce physical clutter while still preserving the memories.

Repurpose Sentimental Items

Turn old clothes or memorabilia into quilts or photobooks that can be enjoyed in your new space.

Practical Tips For Decluttering

Take Your Time

Unless your downsizing needs are urgent, pace yourself with one space or room at a time. If your home is filled with boxes and piles of stuff everywhere, you’re more likely to give up if you try to sort through everything in a short time.

Be Honest With Yourself

When deciding what to keep, ask yourself if the item is something you need, love, or use regularly. If the answer is no, it’s probably time to let it go.

Seek Help When Needed

If the task feels overwhelming, don't hesitate to ask for help from friends, family, or even professional organisers. Sometimes an outside perspective can make the process easier.


Downsizing your home is a significant step, but with careful planning and a positive mindset, it can lead to a simpler, more fulfilling lifestyle.

By starting early, decluttering methodically, and being mindful of your new space, you can make the transition smoothly and enjoy the benefits of a more manageable home.

Remember, the goal is to create a space that supports your current lifestyle and future goals. Happy downsizing!

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