As the children start to leave home, parents often consider downsizing to a smaller property. Often this isn’t until you are in your 50s or 60s, because by this time you realise that there are better ways to spend your time than maintaining a large property in Sydney. Downsizing is a sensible strategy, as it releases some of your equity that can be used on travelling or other interests. The problem is what do you do with everything you have collected over the years when you move to a smaller property?
1. Make a list of items you must keep
Usually these are mementos or family heirlooms that you want to keep with you in your new home. However, it’s also worth considering giving some of these keep-sakes to your children; the fewer items you take with you to your new home, the greater the available space. It has to be said that downsizing is a good way to clear away all the clutter that you have accumulated over your lifetime, but you might have to be brutal.
It can be difficult to part with some heirlooms, but if they would have been passed to your children anyway, try and consider it as a pre-emptive strategy that has a payoff in terms of space. Actually, downsizing can be very freeing, giving you the opportunity to remove the clutter from your life as you head off on your new journey. Items that you want to keep can also include new furniture or appliances that’s been recently purchased. Anything else however, might be better given to your children, donated or sold.
2. Obtain a floorplan of your new home
If you have already purchased your new Sydney property, but it’s not settled yet, ask the sellers for a floor plan. This can help you to decide what furniture and belongings you can’t take to your new property, simply because there’s not enough room. For example, a massive leather sectional might not fit into your new living area. The dining table that seats 12 people might not even get through the door and there may not be any space for all your exercise equipment. If you are used to a large walk-in wardrobe, you might need to cull your clothes and accessories, given that the wardrobe in your new property is only a tenth the size. A floor plan is an excellent way to help you decide what to keep, give to your children or sell.
3. Go through your garage and shed
If you are downsizing to a Sydney apartment, there will be plenty of items in your garage and shed that you won’t use ever again. Even if you are moving to a house or townhouse, you might find you don’t need the lawnmower and most of the other equipment and tools. This shouldn’t be as difficult as culling the inside of your home, so just be sensible with what you take with you to your new home, and sell the rest or give it away to your children or a charity.
4. Downsize your kitchenware
You might be amazed at all the kitchen gadgets you have accumulated over the years that have sat at the back of your cupboards and forgotten. Now is the time to sort through these cupboards and decide what you want to take with you on your move, what can be given to your children, thrown away, donated or sold. For example, when was the last time you used the bread maker or waffle machine? Do you really need ten spatulas and 40 coffee mugs? How many dinner sets do you have? What about all the plastic ware that takes up an entire cupboard?
This is also a good opportunity to go through your pantry and throw out anything that’s out of date or you haven’t used in years. Also all the tins and packets that you were going to use, but never did get around to using. Downsizing can be lots of fun, because eliminating all of this clutter can give you a new lease on life!
5. Make a list of items that can be sold
If your children don’t want particular items and you don’t want to take them with you on your move, you might consider selling them. Not necessarily for the money, but so that someone else can appreciate their utility or aesthetics. For example, you could sell that large leather sectional to a family with teenage kids who can’t afford to buy new, but would be grateful for a well-loved second hand lounge suite. You don’t even need to have a garage sale, because it’s very easy to sell furniture, appliances and other items on Gumtree. Another option is to donate your excess furniture and items to a local charity who will often pick them up and take them away.
These five tips should help you downsize to a smaller property in Sydney with a confident air!