When it comes to downsizing, one of the biggest barriers for many is the problem of fitting a lifetime of possessions and belongings into a smaller space. And while there is no doubt that the task is daunting, with the right mindset and plan it can be truly liberating.
In recent years, decluttering has become a bit of a trend and the benefits of freeing yourself from too much stuff stretch beyond simply having less clutter to also include creating a healthy environment and a happier home.
So if you’re keen to move to a smaller, low-maintenance home but need some guidance to get started, read on to learn 3 decluttering and space saving tips that make downsizing highly achievable.
Independent living unit, Runaway Bay Retirement Community
Decluttering is a joy, not a chore
Decluttering can seem like a mammoth task—and it often is! When you have a house full of stuff, where do you even start? An effective approach requires a plan and the right mindset. Rather than thinking of it as a chore, look at it as a way of freeing yourself from the excess things that are weighing you down and taking up room in your life. Also focus on the joy of giving away those things that may not be right for you, but that someone else will love.
You could tackle it room by room, or follow the KonMari method of Japanese organiser Marie Kondo who suggests working through your home category by category. If you need some inspiration, visit your library to pick up a book on the subject, such as Marie’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or watch her TV series. Whichever approach you choose, try to avoid getting caught up in nostalgia and focus on keeping only the things that are useful or make you happy.
Independent living unit, Willow Glen Retirement Community
Design your new space around your most treasured items
Once you have decluttered your home and are left with your most treasured and useful possessions, you can focus on designing your new home around your favourite things. In this way, every room will be full of the items that you love, with none of the things that weigh you down.
In the living room, you can display the trinkets, ornaments and pictures that bring a smile to your face and the soft furnishings in only the colours you like. Your kitchen won’t be cluttered up with chipped or ugly crockery and glassware anymore, and your wardrobe will be filled with only the clothes that make you feel good. This may sound like an impossible dream but it is 100% achievable if you set your mind to it.
Creative storage solutions to maximise space
Even after decluttering, you will likely still have a fair amount of belongings to fit into your new smaller home. To maximise the space, you’ll need a few clever storage solutions up your sleeve. You can search online for endless inspiration from bloggers and everyday people who are happy to share their hacks and seeing their before and after shots provides a great visual reference to help you make it happen.
Organising your wardrobe and drawers using storage solutions such as hanging shoe racks, drawer inserts and stacking boxes will allow you to fit so much more into the space. In the kitchen, using containers that stack or fit snugly next to each other allows you to fit as much in a smaller space as you did in a larger, less organised pantry.
Stafford Lakes Retirement Community
Enjoy the freedom of downsizing
As the kids leave home and you look for a life free from endless household chores, downsizing can be the ideal solution. In a smaller home, there is less to maintain and clean, which means you have more time to devote to hobbies and leisure.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about making it happen, remember to enjoy the process and keep the end goal of where it is taking you in mind—to a modern, low-maintenance home filled with the things you love.