Downsizing made easy!

10 tips for empty nesters

Downsizers come in all ages, it's not just the over 60's! Many people adopt downsizing if they want to have better work/life balance, if they're moving to another area, divorce, or just want less stuff.

However, it's usually the empty nesters who decide that time's ticking on and want to free up some funds to do the things they've always wanted to before it's too late, in addition to letting go the practical needs of a large house and garden.

 Sliding wardrobes are great for downsizing

Often, the choice will be a smaller house nearer the shops and doctors, a stylish apartment where you can start again and have a luxurious lifestyle, or a get away from it all cottage just big enough for two (or one).

 Fitted furniture for downsizing

Downsizing can be very stressful though, it's the transition from one to the other that daunts most folk from even embarking on it. Moving home can take longer than you think and there is often a lengthy chain in this scenario, so good planning and well thought out design ideas are the key to keeping that stress to a minimum, and actually get you looking forward to your move. It's a given that you'll be getting rid of stuff, but apart from the special mementos, we all are the custodians of an awful lot of accumulated possessions, and you might be surprised how much lighter and less bogged down it makes you feel to get rid of most of it - but where to start?

  1. Make a plan. Buy a special folder and notebook and keep everything there for easy reference. Make it a proper job to keep it organised.
  2. Avoid overwhelm at all costs. Think and do things a step at a time and be prepared for emotional meltdowns - keep focused on your reasons for this life change and make it a positive picture, think .
  3. Compare the size of your new home to your existing home, and what the spaces are used for. Extra bedrooms can be discounted, but living spaces are often multi use rooms. Usually it's large pieces like dining room tables and sofas that need to be replaced by  scaled versions. If a piece is bought for a specific house, then don't necessarily expect it to travel. Often squeezing it in detracts from everything else, so bite the bullet and let it go without agonising over the cost and memories, you'll make new ones!
  4. Work out what you want to keep, what's going to the charity shop (anything you haven't used in the last year?) and whats going to the tip. Invite the family round and ask them if they want anything apart from your chosen things, and use local auctions and Ebay. You'll need your home to look less cluttered for potential buyers, anyway.
  5. Look early on at whats in your outbuildings and sheds, and make a start on clearing it all at any cost while you have the energy. You might consider a gardener for the period your home is on the market for that extra wow factor anyway, which means you can even sell the mower. Get a solid box like a tea chest, and make that the limit for tools and gardenalia.
  6. Often we keep massive stacks of things like extra bedding and towels that had minimal cost and have given service for years. They owe you nothing, pass them on and relish the opportunity to buy new, coordinated linens. Give yourself permission to start again in all ways without leaving a foot in the past, look at it as a life change and not just a house change.
  7. Plan for multi use rooms. To some, it's very alien to not have a separate dining room or have the kitchen in the lounge, but it soon becomes the norm - the absolute key to multi use rooms is to keep them very, very tidy, and that means lots of storage.
 Custom furniture for downsizing

Make one wall a whole storage opportunity, like this one. Made to measure, it's swallowed the TV, DVD and Sky box, the pick of the client's special collection of china, posh crockery, CD's, family photographs, household documents etc etc. This one solution allowed the client to free up floor space from at least 3 freestanding pieces of furniture.

8. Consider built in storage - everywhere!

 Bathroom furniture for downsizing

Even the bathroom can have storage potential

 Custom shelving for downsizing

Library units like this little one can be built in any spare corner, above doorways and under the stairs, with or without doors. A good expert designer can see storage opportunities where you might not, Deane make to measure so our friendly designers have free reign to squeeze in a storage space where other companies might not be able to.

 Small fitted study office ideas for downsizing

9. No study? No problem! A man cave condensed to a corner of the guest room. Making the best use of every inch of space

10. Leave books and papers until last, and sort through them one box at a time. Books and pictures are really hard to get rid of, and often you might disagree with your partner on what stays and what goes! 


If Deane can help you make the most of your available space, we have lots of experience with downsizers! Contact Us for your hassle free home quotation or pop into the showroom with your plans to discuss your project - we try to make it easy for you to plan storage in your new home.