Downsizing to Upsize Lifestyle

Very proud Life Begins at, magazine, Autumn edition featured our tips on downsizing for their readers to share.

Downsizing to Upsize Lifestyle

Special Feature
A successful declutter & downsize

Downsizing is really about ‘rightsizing’ our lives and our homes, embracing an easier and enjoyable lifestyle. Decluttering, a tool to simplify our lives – brings clarity and calm to the process and the everyday. Jo Carmichael from all sorted out, shares her tips to declutter and downsize.

1. Spark Joy

This classic decluttering philosophy by Marie Kondo says that you only keep items which spark joy. If you don’t love it, don’t keep it. This is also applies when preparing to downsize. When ‘rightsizing’ we will have a more compact space to live in, so its important to only keep things that we really need and want. This can be challenging to start, but quite liberating. For example, many clients have had their in-laws large & rather unattractive buffet in their living room for the last 30 years. As they are moving out of their large home, they are now allowed to make the decision, to not take that wretched piece of furniture with them. I help clients understand that this large piece of furniture has served its purpose, and they can ‘let go of it’. We then arrange to sell it, if it’s a valuable antique – with an auction house, or if of little value – with an online site such as Gumtree, or donate to charity. There are many positives when downsizing or rightsizing.

2. Be Ruthless

It’s easy to become overly sentimental when decluttering and downsizing.
Ideally, put yourself in a pragmatic headspace and get a less emotional friend or Professional Organiser around to help you make good decisions. There are so many decisions to make – it can be overwhelming. We need to remember – we are not simply ‘packing’. We are sorting and decluttering, so that only items we need come with us. I help clients realise that oversized statues and every large piece of furniture from a sprawling family home, are not going to fit into a 2 bed apartment.

We embrace a positive mindset so that the challenges of what to take and what to let go of, become therapeutic and fun. Some people can not face the thought of ‘decluttering’ before they move, so they choose instead to place everything into a storage unit – with a monthly fee deducted from their bank account. This is a very expensive choice. Additional to the ongoing costs, they are still carrying the burden of what to do with those stored items.

3. Everything Needs A Home
It’s useful to visualise your new home – and to refer to its floor plan, when deciding on what to keep and what to let go of. Do not keep anything that does not have an obvious and practical home. This is the easiest way to avoid clutter building.

For example, in your current home you may have walls of bookshelves full of books. However, many of these books have served their purpose – they have been read and enjoyed.

It’s likely the new home will not have as many book shelves, which makes it a simple mathematical solution. Only take the amount of books that can be housed, while also leaving some shelf space for the new books that are yet to be purchased.

Again, it is unlikely that a 12 seat dining table will be accommodated in a downsizers home – so you may need to trade it in for a more compact setting for 4 – 6. It’s also important to have an outdoor setting or casual seating if there’s a balcony or small terrace attached.

4. Be Fussy Yet Keep It Simple

Pick a simple colour scheme or visual style and only keep things that really fit within that. Treat your own belongings as a store and only keep what you would buy again right now.

5. Back To Basics

What do you NEED? Think about the absolute essentials you need in your home to be functional and joyful. Prioritise those items. Many items sitting in our cupboards belong to what I refer to as ‘old hobbies’ – we don’t spend time on these hobbies anymore, so the equipment that goes with them can be elbowed. For example my cross country skis – which I’d loved and used for a good six years, were no longer getting any use. My life had changed. I knew that if I was to take up cross country skiing again in the future, that I wouldn’t be using those skis again anyway. So off they went. They had served their purpose well. In the meantime, I’d started spending more time at the beach, and now had a surf board leant against my back fence to use instead.

By letting go of what we no longer use or want, we invite the future in.

It’s a balancing act – discard what you don’t need and keep what you love & use, which also best suits our new home and lifestyle. Maybe you too will find that some things are superfluous to a new lease on life.

About Jo Carmichael

Jo has seen the difference decluttering can make when downsizing. The flow on effects to productivity, satisfaction and lifestyle are wonderful!

If you want to hear more, we’d love to share further tips and tricks from Jo’s bank of experience. From lifestyle and decorating, to practical decluttering techniques, Jo would love to help you and your readers downsize for bigger joy!