Our first piece of advice… start now!
Some helpful advice from our fellow residents and local downsizing specialists, is to start the decluttering process before you sell your current home! While removing a bit of clutter is a good first step, you also need to consider what you will and won’t take with you into your new home. There are many different ways to approach downsizing and whether you’re an expert at downsizing having done it before, or, this is a completely new world for you, we have created five handy steps to help you best prepare for your move.
1. Start with your furniture
We’ve created a printable “Yes, No, Maybe” sheet to help you sort the items you’ll be bringing to your new home. Simply print the sheet, grab a pen and a tape measure and you’re set to go.
Next, go from room to room and decide whether the furniture belongs in the Yes, No or Maybe columns. It’s always a good idea to measure your furniture, to ensure it will fit in your new space, so you will notice we have also included a measurements column. Some people prefer to purchase new furniture, but you may have some treasures that you don’t want to part with. Once you have completed each column, you’ll need to revisit your ‘Maybes’ with the following questions…
- Can this piece fit in my new space?
- Will it provide storage?
- Do I need it?
- Can I replace it with something as useful but smaller?
Answering these questions will help you determine if each item on your ‘Maybe’ list becomes a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
2. Create a floorplan
Now you have a good idea of what furniture you want to take with you, it’s time to make sure it’ll fit in your new home. We recommend mapping out your furniture on your home floor plan, so you know where your pieces will go. Start with the bigger items like your bed, sofa, television and dining table. From there, determine if and where you have room for end tables, hall tables, bedside tables and other storage pieces and ornamental furniture.
Tip! A helpful tip from one of our residents: always ask where the power outlets are and mark-up these on your floor plans, to ensure your electrical appliances are located close by and have access to electricity.
3. Determine want vs need
Next it’s time to sort through your personal, more valuable items – which can often be challenging if your items are of sentimental significance. A useful method that was recommended by Rachel Lane & Noel Whittaker in their book ‘Downsizing Made Simple’ is to start in a room with fewer sentimental objects, for example your kitchen or bathroom. Alternatively, the Marie Kondo (internationally renowned organising expert) method of letting go of unnecessary clutter is an option too. To follow this method you hold the item and if it doesn’t make you feel anything positive, thank it and set it free (click here to find out more about Marie Kondo). On a less personal approach we recommend asking the following for each…
- What are the items you’d take with you if you only had one box? – these are ‘must haves’
- What are the items you use every day? – clothing, kitchenware, technology
- Have you used this item in the past 12 months? – immediately discard clothing that doesn’t fit, anything that you have more than one of (how many pairs of scissors do you need?), and any item that is broken or damaged and can’t be repaired.
- What are the items that make you really happy – books, artwork, collectibles?
- What are the items that you will need at some time in the next 6-12 months? Include seasonal clothing and sporting or entertainment pieces
4. Check if it fits
Once you have determined what you want to take, you need to ensure that all of these items can fit into your new home, using in-built storage or any cupboards or drawers you are taking with you. If in doubt, give it to a friend, sell it, or give it to a charity shop so it can be loved by someone else. While there are many shops around Canberra (and this link will take you to them all), below is a list of some that may be near you:
For those living outside of Canberra, there are several Red Cross, Salvation Army & Vinnies drop offs in regions across Australia too.
- Belconnen Salvos
Charity | The Salvation Army
88 Josephson Street, BELCONNEN
- Vinnies Tuggeranong
Charity | Saint Vincent de Paul
Cnr Pittman St & Athlon Dr., GREENWAY
- MS Community Shop – Tuggeranong
Charity | Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
150-180 Soward Way, Tuggeranong
- Fusion Op Shop
Charity | Fusion
2/30-36 Primmer Ct, KAMBAH
- Woden Australian Red Cross
Charity | Red Cross
20, Shop 107-109 Woden Square, Bradley St WODEN
5. Ask for help if you need it
Feeling overwhelmed, not sure where to start or simply want a hand? That’s what we’re here for!
We’ve connected with a few local specialists to help take the guesswork out of downsizing. If you would like us to help you get in touch with a specialist, please reach out to the Greenway Views Membership Team on 1300 535 000 or feel free to contact the below specialists. We recommend: